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Alvarez defeats Golovkin in thriller

Last updated: September 17, 2018 by Leon Marshal

Mexican Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez has claimed the WBC and WBA world middleweight titles with a stunning victory over previously unbeaten Gennady Golovkin. In a close encounter, Alvarez took the judges’ score cards with two judges scoring the fight 115-113 in favour of Canelo, while the third had the fight level at 114-114.

Saul Alvarez triumphed over Gennady Golovkin in a memorable twelve rounds at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas. The two shared ferocious punches over the two fights that went the distance in both bouts, but neither could do enough to knock the other out, no matter how hard they tried. The judges gave the Mexican professional boxer the edge with two judges scoring in Alvarez’s favour and the other scoring the fight as a draw.

Gennady Golovkin at a press conference

Fans at the T-Mobile arena and millions more watching on TV were treated to a boxing spectacle as Alvarez claimed the WBA (World Boxing Association) and the WBC (World Boxing Council) belts to end Golovkin’s eight-year reign as middleweight World champion.

The fight had just about everything; a mix of solid hooks, counter-punches, uppercuts, and body shots with great endurance from both athletes. The only thing missing was a knockdown. This was the second encounter between the two with the first match exactly one year ago ending in a draw. A result that itself caused a scandal with experts questioning how Adalaide Byrd scored the fight 118-110 in Alvarez’s favour, a score that seemed at odds with the action and the scores from the other judges.

The win on Saturday was Alvarez’s biggest of his industrious career, outclassing his older opponent with great energy in the last three minutes as he won 114-114, 115-113, and 115-113. After the controversy with the scoring in the first bout, once the fight went to the judges it was always going to make the headlines. This fight swung on the finest margin and both fighters would be disappointed with the defeat, another draw wouldn’t have been an unjust result.

The difference between the two fighters was so small I would suggest that the last round was the decider. Of the two fighters, Saul Alvarez played it better and produced a magical and outstanding performance in the last round that proved the major difference between the boxers.

Close judges call – effective punching

Golovkin throughout the fight landed more punches, 234 compared to Alvarez’s 203, but in comparison to the total punches, Alvarez had the best rate of successful punches of 33% to GGG 27%. So whilst Golovkin was much more aggressive, he was less clinical than Alvarez. The judges seemed to prefer the more calculated approach from Alvarez.

Alvarez was making a comeback seven months after failing a doping test that tainted his image and punished him with a six-month ban by authorities. He blamed the failed test on infected meat he ate in his homeland, but many sceptics have questioned these doping allegations and have claimed the scandal over the judges score card is somehow down to Alvarez’s camp.

Talks of a third match began immediately with both of the boxers open to the idea of a third fight. The crowd loved the fight and many pundits called it a fantastic matchup of two great professionals. So, the appetite for a third instalment is there. Golovkin stormed out of the ring after his defeat so you imagine he would be willing to fight again. The question is, would his young opponent risk it all again so soon?

Alvarez speaking into a mic