Alvarez beats Golovkin by unanimous decision to end hat-trick

Las Vegas (AFP) – Canelo Alvarez decisively won his third ringside encounter with Gennady Golovkin on Saturday night, claiming a unanimous victory in the final round of their entertaining trilogy.

Four years after the fighters’ last meeting ended with a contested narrow victory for Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs), the fourth division world champions left no doubt about that verdict. The 32-year-old Mexican star delivered a sweeping hit to 40-year-old Golovkin (42-2-1) in the first eight rounds, repeatedly testing Triple G’s famous chin with combos and lifting rights.

Golovkin started very slowly with no clear strategy to take the initiative away from Alvarez. Fighting at 168 pounds for the first time in his career, the Kazakh middleweight star still had moments of his dynamic best in subsequent rounds against a weary Canelo, but it wasn’t enough to turn the match against a younger, more comfortable opponent in the supercar. average weight.

All the judges scored a surprising score for Alvarez: 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113. The Associated Press also favored Canelo, 117-111.

With a clear win to end one of the most vibrant competitions in modern boxing history, Alvarez has rebounded superbly from only the second loss of his career, a rather mild one-sided defeat at the hands of Dimitri Bevol last May.

Golovkin said he wouldn’t retire after this bout, but the middleweight champion only suffered a second loss in his career – and the first was crucial. The two archrivals hugged each other and spoke warmly to each other after the last bell, possibly indicating the thaw in their frosty relationship.

After the first two fights resulted in a tie and a narrow victory in a majority decision for Alvarez, the fighters finally met again four years later, and fought back off the Las Vegas Strip in front of a pro-Canillo crowd.

The 32-year-old Alvarez was a 5-to-1 favorite shortly before the opening bell, and he fought just as well. By throwing more punches and taking the lead away from Golovkin, Canelo pretty much dominated the first half of the fight as he rose up on Golovkin’s right temple.

Golovkin had no clear game plan against Canelo’s bullying in the first eight rounds, instead absorbing Alvarez’s blows and not firing enough on his own. Golovkin finally raised his work rate and made headway against a tired Canelo in the late rounds, but that wasn’t enough.

Alvarez injured his right eye in the later rounds, but the damage and Golovkin’s increased activity don’t seem to slow him down at all.

The match was the long-awaited final chapter in one of the most interesting trios of this era. Álvarez and Golovkin fought first in 2017 and again in 2018, but those 24 rounds did nothing to define supremacy between two identical fighters with nearly unparalleled combinations of skill and punching power.

They fought for a tie in their first meeting, but almost everyone without an official scorecard thought Golovkin deserved to win. Their second meeting was closer, and while Alvarez won by a slim majority decision, Golovkin once again strongly disagreed with the judges on his only defeat of his career.

Golovkin has only fought four times in the four years since that match, and this third match has likely been delayed due to his outspoken criticism of Alvarez for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance before the second fight. Alvarez said the rivalry was now personal after years of bad blood and mutual criticism, while Golovkin insisted Alvarez was just another opponent.

This is clearly not true: this rivalry was special, and it may turn out to be the biggest rivalry of my fighters’ careers.

In the penultimate match of the show, Jesse “Pam” Rodriguez remained undefeated and retained the WBC super flyweight title with a tough unanimous victory over Israel Gonzalez. 22-year-old Rodriguez (17-0, 11 KOs) is a rising star, and he beat the points opponent for a low kick to win a tactical match with a funky opponent.