Álvarez beats Golovkin by unanimous decision to end trilogy

Canelo Álvarez decisively won his third ring meeting with Gennady Golovkin on Saturday night, earning a unanimous victory in the last fight of their trilogy

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Canelo Álvarez decisively won his third ring meeting with Gennady Golovkin on Saturday night, earning a unanimous victory in the final bout of their entertaining trilogy.

Four years after the fighters’ last clash ended in a narrow, controversial win for Álvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs), the four-division world champion left little doubt about that verdict. The 32-year-old Mexican star delivered a comprehensive smash against now 40-year-old Golovkin in the first eight rounds (42-2-1), repeatedly testing Triple G’s famous chin with combinations and overhand rights.

Golovkin started far too slowly and without a clear strategy to take the initiative away from Álvarez. The Kazakh middleweight star, fighting at 168lbs for the first time in his career, still had moments of his dynamic best in the later rounds against a more tired Canelo, but they weren’t enough to turn the fight around against a younger opponent who was struggling is more comfortable at Super Middleweight, where he reigns as the undisputed champion.

The judges scored surprisingly close for Álvarez: 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113. The Associated Press also preferred Canelo, 117-111.

Golovkin landed just 23% of his 521 punches and only threw 10 punches at Canelo’s body, according to CompuBox. Álvarez wasn’t much more accurate, landing just 26% of his punches, but the Mexican star landed 85 power punches against Golovkin’s 46 and controlled the ring for long stretches.

With a victorious victory to cap off one of the livelier rivalries in recent boxing history, Álvarez bounced back handsomely from just the second loss of his career, a rather one-sided light heavyweight defeat inflicted by Dmitry Bivol last May.

Golovkin has said he won’t give up after this fight, but the longtime middleweight champion suffered only his second loss – and the first that was decisive. All three blemishes in his career record are the result of his trilogy with Álvarez.

The bitter rivals embraced and spoke cordially after the final bell, perhaps signaling a thaw in their frosty relationship.

After their first two fights resulted in a draw and a narrow majority victory for Álvarez, the fighters finally met again four years later and fought again right on the Las Vegas Strip in front of a pro Canelo crowd.

32-year-old Álvarez was a 5-to-1 favorite just before the opening bell and he was fighting like it should be. Canelo threw far more punches and took the initiative away from Golovkin. He largely dominated the first half of the fight while a welt formed on Golovkin’s right temple.

Golovkin had no discernible game plan against Canelo’s bullying in the first eight rounds, instead absorbing Álvarez’ punches and not launching enough of his own. Golovkin eventually increased his work rate and made progress against a more tired Canelo in the late laps, but it wasn’t enough.

Álvarez was injured above his right eye in the later rounds, but the damage and Golovkin’s increased activity didn’t seem to shake him at all, even as his offensive effectiveness waned.

The fight was the long-delayed final chapter in one of the era’s most intriguing trilogies. Álvarez and Golovkin first fought in 2017 and again in 2018, but those 24 rounds did nothing to determine the superiority between two evenly matched fighters with near-unmatched combinations of skill and punch.

They battled to a shared draw in their first meeting, but almost everyone without an official scorecard felt Golovkin deserved the win. Their second meeting was closer, and while Álvarez won by a razor-thin majority decision, Golovkin again vehemently contradicted the judges in his only loss of his career.

Golovkin had only fought four times in the four years since that fight, and that third fight was likely delayed by his vocal criticism of Álvarez for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance before the second fight. Álvarez said the rivalry is now personal after years of bad blood and mutual criticism, while Golovkin insisted Álvarez was just another opponent.

This is clearly not true: this duel was something special and it could turn out to be the greatest rivalry in the careers of both fighters.

In the show’s penultimate fight, Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez went undefeated and retained his WBC super flyweight title with a difficult unanimous victory over Israel Gonzalez. 22-year-old Rodriguez (17-0, 11 KOs) is a rising star, and he overcame a point penalty for a low hit to win a tactical duel with an unorthodox opponent.

https://www.king5.com/article/sports/lvarez-beats-golovkin-by-unanimous-decision-to-end-trilogy/281-67125337-6e68-4de0-a806-0dcece313f6c Álvarez beats Golovkin by unanimous decision to end trilogy

Emma Bowman

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