After stepping out of the ring, Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez and Gennady Golovkin argued over who won their middleweight title fight.
What no one could argue is that it was not a great match.
Golovkin retained his middleweight title by drawing “Canelo” Alvarez on Saturday in a brutal battle that should set the stage for an early rematch.
The fight more than met expectations: Neither opponent saved anything by exchanging devastating blows during the 12 rounds.
Neither did any of them fall or end up seriously injured. Of course, both were able to hit powerful blows to the faces, making the audience vibrate.
Golovkin was the aggressor from start to finish, but without taking down the Mexican idol. Álvarez knew how to respond in his exchanges with “Triple G”.
The melee maintained the intensity until the last seconds, and the cards had to be appealed although both fighters claimed the victory.
“I won seven, eight rounds easily,” Alvarez said. “I was superior in the ring.”
“Today they gave me a draw. I focus on fighting, ”Golovkin said. Look at my belts. I am still the champion. I have not lost ”.
Álvarez was ahead after the first three rounds, but Golovkin dominated the central innings. After a chat in his corner, “Canelo” came out more aggressive in the 10th to force a tie.
The two fighters raised their arms in victory after the final bell and jumped into the arms of their teams, but had to wait for the cards to find out who was taking the belts home.
Two of the cards were very even, one gave Golovkin an advantage at 115-113, and the other marked a draw 114-114. But veteran judge Adalaide Byrd inexplicably gave the win to “Canelo” 118-110, conceding all but two rounds. The Associated Press card saw it even, 114-114.
The statistics conceded Golovkin 217 hits in 703 attempts while Alvarez materialized 169 of his 505 punches.
Golovkin, who has never lost in 38 fights, retained his middleweight titles thanks to the draw. But Álvarez showed that not only could he absorb the impact of the Kazakh’s powerful punch, but he was also able to punish his rival.
The fight was a delight to the 22,358 spectators at the T-Mobile Arena, witnessing the kind of display that boxing purists had anticipated. It was an exciting duel, with stabbing jabs and various exchanges. Neither was willing to back down from the other.
“Congratulations to all my Mexican friends,” Golovkin said. “I wanted a fight of truth and drama.”
And drama was what was experienced in the final stretch of the fight, in which Álvarez took out the rest he had and shook Golovkin with uppercuts and the strength of his right hand. But Golovkin returned everything he received.
It was a battle from the opening bell, with Golovkin determined to corner Álvarez, but repeatedly impacted by the Mexican.
Golovkin predicted before the fight that the later rounds would resemble a street fight, and in a way it did.
The monarch waited for the opportunity to face Álvarez for almost two years, trying to star in a first-rate match to pocket several million dollars and establish himself as a figure capable of generating pay-per-view sales. Alvarez finally agreed, after Golovkin looked vulnerable earlier this year against Daniel Jacobs, in a decision that ended his 23-game winning streak by way of knockout.
“Of course I want revenge,” said Golovkin, who moved from Kazakhstan to Los Angeles to become a boxing star. I want a fight, a real fight. I have my belts, I want a championship fight.
“Canelo” said for his part that he is more than willing to face the Kazakh fighter again.
“Obviously yes, if the people want it,” Álvarez said. «He did not win, it was a draw. I always said that I was going to be one step ahead of him. ” AP