In a riveting middleweight clash between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, perhaps a classic modern rivalry was born. Even after three varied scorecards proceeded the final bell, twelve grueling rounds could not determine a winner.
Veteran judges Don Trella (114-114) and Dave Moretti (115-113) scored the fight close; however, Adelaide Byrd (118-110) believed Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KO) made easy work of Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KO). Even so,“GGG” still holds the WBC, WBA, and IBF middleweight titles, and Alvarez the lineal middleweight championship.
I’m not upset about Trella’s 114-114. If Byrd had somehow seen 7 rounds for Canelo, I could listen to the argument. But 10 of 12? No.— Bad Left Hook (@badlefthook) September 17, 2017
While a case can be made for either fighter being declared victorious on Saturday night, Byrd’s tally is the object of much justified ridicule. Nonetheless, each 160-pound champion expressed a desire to run part two of their Gatti-Ward, Hearns-Hagler, Vasquez-Marquez-like ring war back immediately.
With the split-draw announced, here’s how it unfolded.
Behind relaxed bravado, Canelo outmaneuvered 35-year-old Golovkin to steal major portions of the first four rounds. However, round five saw each surge and parry behind combinations and posturing, even to the point where Alvarez shrugged off a hard-laced Golovkin right, and frantically motioned for more.
But as the middle rounds replaced the opening stages, a bulky Canelo’s output and resistance began wilting in the face of Golovkin’s stoic advance.
Each fighter enjoyed moments of success in the eighth and ninth, though Golovkin absorbed the best offerings from his naturally-smaller challenger. However round nine became a mere prelude to a classic tenth frame, which Dougie Fisher aptly referred to as “beautiful brutality.”
Following the poetic verse of each man’s emptied pugilistic coffers, Canelo entered the championship rounds with hands waist-high, as Golovkin showed little signs of fatigue.
And though visibly labored, Canelo roared forward at the calm-faced Golovkin during rounds eleven and twelve to create palpable suspense before a raucous audience.
Though after the controversial final scores were read, many boos followed Canelo’s name. And with that, the sporting world will likely await another meeting between Alvarez and Golovkin.