Arguably the most anticipated boxing match of the year took place tonight when Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin finally squared off in the ring.
The matchup between Alvarez (49-1-2) and the unbeaten Golovkin (37-0-1) was a competitive 12-round fight that ended in a stunning split draw.
A weird, skewed set of judges scores will overshadow the aftermath of the brilliance displayed in the middleweight showdown here in Sin City, played out at breakneck speed between two great fighters with very high boxing IQ, heart, chins, stamina and desire.
Golovkin and Alvarez delivered. The judges didn’t.
The two great boxers stuck to their guns and their game plans. Neither men was down, neither man backed down, both had their moments. Now they will most likely have to deliver again. Second time around, it will suit Canelo.
As brilliant as Golovkin was, there are signs of Father Time coming. And this will have taken something out of the 35-year-old Kazakh. But the decision should have gone to Golovkin over Canelo, by almost universal opinion.
Golovkin kept his belts but it was a poor set of scores: 115-114 (Golovkin ), 114-114 then 118-110 from the judge Adelaide Byrd, which makes little sense anywhere in the universe.
In truth, the ineptitude at an event worth over US$100 million is almost unforgivable. Four years ago CJ Ross was struck off when she scored the Floyd Mayweather-Canelo fight a draw. It clearly was not. They will be calling for Byrd to be jettisoned. It means that the judge scored 10 rounds to Canelo and two to Golovkin.
The close scores are more forgivable, but Golovkin won the contest. The Telegraph had him winning 8-4 in rounds, or at worst 7-5. There were one or two rounds which were hard to score, or close even, but all that will happen now is these two great fighters will go at it again.
“I wanted a true fight, I like the Mexican style,” Golovkin said in the ring afterwards. “This was a real fight, it was real drama, I still have all the belts. My focus is on the belts and I am still the champion. It’s not my fault (on the scores). I put pressure on every round – thanks to the people that support me. Yes the next fight I want a true fight.”
Alvarez said he had not been troubled by Golovkin’s power. “No, truthfully not it really there wasn’t any power that didn’t surprise me. In the first rounds, I came out to see what he had then I was building from there. I think I won 8 rounds. I felt that I won the fight.
Check out the complete results from the pay-per-view event below:
- Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin declared a split draw (118-110, 113-115, 114-114)