The Mexican superstar just edged out his Kazakh opponent with scores of 115-113, 115-113 and 114-114
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez shocked Gennady Golovkin to become the unified WBA and WBC middleweight champion on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
However, the rematch’s decision was controversial, much like their intitial draw, causing the usually ultra-respectful Kazakh to storm from the ring after the fight without giving an interview.
The fight was a back-and-forth affair early on as Golovkin established his jab with great success in the first, yet a giant left hook from Canelo emphasised a postive second round for the Mexican.
By the halfway stage, some felt GGG held a lead, although others saw it even as the boxers’ clashing styles once again led to divisive scorecards.
While Gennady Golovkin mostly pressed the action, Canelo Alvarez responded well by landing hard, eye-catching counter-punches, with different observers favouring differing techniques.
The second half of the fight saw the contest develop into an all-time classic – a fact which sadly may be overshadowed by the judges’ scorecards.
There was a fantastic ebb and flow from the eighth round to the twelfth as the pair exchanged quality shots.
Canelo started the tenth particularly brilliantly, however GGG changed the round with one punch.
A right hand appeared to hurt and daze his opponent for a short moment, yet he recovered without hitting the deck.
In the final two sessions, the Kazakh again seemed to just about get the better of proceedings through the eyes of the watching majority, however not everybody agreed with this verdict.
In the end, as always, it was the opinions of the three scoring judges that mattered more than all else.
Glenn Feldman had the bout even at 114-114 (six rounds apiece) while Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld gave it to Canelo 115-113 (seven rounds to five).
“It was a very tight fight,” said Canelo in the aftermath of his career-best result, “But I am very excited and very emotional.
“He’s a great fighter, but in the end we took this victory for Mexico. I am a great fighter and I showed that tonight.
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“If people want another fight, we’ll do it again… We’ll do it again no doubt.”
Golovkin didn’t stick around to do an interview, uncharacteristically storming from the ring and refusing to talk to the media.
The 36-year-old has now lost all of the middleweight titles he spend his career amassing, and clearly felt a great sense of injustice in the process, hence his reaction.
Earlier in the night, Jaime Munguia defended his WBO super-welterweight title with a third-round stoppage of Brandon Cook.
Also on the undercard, David Lemieux KOd Spike O’Sullivan in the first while Roman Gonzalez returned with a knockout of Moises Fuentes.