There was some doubt as to who won the first fight between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, and the scorecards showed it in a way with the fight ending in a draw. This time around the doubt was still there, but we actually saw a winner be named.
With a performance that was different than what we saw a year ago, Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) wins the WBC, IBO, and WBA “super” middleweight titles from Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) by majority decision. Glenn Feldman saw the fight even through 12 rounds but Steve Weisfeld and Dave Moretti scored the bout 115-113 for the 28-year-old Mexican and handing Golovkin his first loss of his professional career. On top of that, the streak of title defenses by Golovkin came to an end at 20 which was tied for the most defenses by a middleweight champion.
The fight was close throughout as the momentum seemed to shift in every round. Golovkin started it out with establishing the jab in order to get some power shots in, while Canelo seemed to stand in the line of vision of his opponent and study his movements. With both feet planted on the mat, Canelo got off punches with a little more behind it than in the first fight when he was moving around the ring a little bit more. Canelo wanted to get to the inside and work the body of Golovkin during the fight and he did especially through counters. Canelo landed 46 body shots according to Compubox statistics compared to just 6 landed by Golovkin.
On the flip side, Gennady was coming forward at times establishing the jab and working off of that. It eventually led to the power shots that ended up opening a cut on Canelo’s left eye. There were times when Golovkin landed some good uppercuts and a right hand in the 10th round that looked like it really hurt Canelo, but he was unable to follow through to get a clear advantage in the closing rounds. The jab was working well for Golovkin as he landed twice the amount that Canelo did in the fight, but was behind in the power shots department.
Canelo had been the WBC champion after beating Miguel Cotto in 2015, but vacated it in 2016 after the organization ordered him to fight Golovkin that year. After fighting him to a draw a year ago, Canelo won the belt back from Golovkin this time around and also added the IBO and WBA “super” titles to become a two-time middleweight champion. He wanted to make a statement in the rematch by knocking out Golovkin but was unable to do so. Still, he comes out as the victor.
“I did everything I did to complete my objective,” Canelo said after the fight through an interpreter. “Unfortunately we didn’t get the knockout, but thank God we walked away with the victory. I’m very happy with it, because all the work that we did paid off in the ring.”
He also gave a lot of credit to his trainers (Eddy and Chepo Reynoso) at the post fight presser, as he feels that they are a big reason why he is at the point where he is today.
“I want to thank my trainers…they’ve taken me from nothing…from 13 years old to the highest levels in boxing.”
Golovkin was disappointed that he suffered the first loss of his career. He thought that he would have his hand raised at the end of the match.
“I’m not going to say who won tonight because the victory belongs to Canelo according to the judges,” Golovkin said later from his dressing room. “I thought it was a very good fight for the fans and very exciting. I thought I fought better than he did.”
The constant back and forth between rounds may have made this fight more compelling than the last one and fans seemed to enjoy it. There were loud chants for both fighters during the fight and it added to the action. Most may feel that there may be a third fight between the two, and both Canelo and Golovkin seem open to it.
“If the people want us to do it again let’s do it again,” Alvarez said.
“Under the right conditions, yes,” Golovkin said of a rematch.
Cover photo by Hogan Photos