Gennady Golovkin did say he may end up having a trilogy of fights with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and a rematch looks certain after the biggest middleweight fight for more than a decade ago ended up as a draw in Las Vegas.
‘Canelo’ did box beautifully for spells, but Golovkin appeared to do more in more rounds – he landed more punches in 10 of the 12 sessions according to Compubox – and Boxing Social had him a couple of rounds up at the end.
Inexplicably, Adelaide Byrd, a judge with a history of misreading fights, had Canelo winning 118-110, while Dave Morretti had Golovkin ahead 115-113 and Don Trella couldn’t separate them at 114-114.
The consensus among the press appears to be that Golovkin was hard done by and the crowd at the T-Mobile Arena booed when ‘Canelo’ claimed he had won seven of the 12 rounds.
‘Canelo’ did box beautifully for spells in rounds, but Golovkin did more in more rounds and was a couple of rounds up at the end for ‘Boxing Social’ after a fight that wasn’t ‘The Big Drama Show’ we might have hoped for, but was absorbing and enjoyable nonetheless.
The action was of the highest quality from first bell to last – and it went back and forth throughout.
‘Canelo’ held his own early on, Golovkin appeared to pull away in the middle rounds – and ‘Canelo’ came back in the last two.
Several sessions could have gone either way depending on whether you appreciated clean punches from Alvarez or Golovkin’s steady pressure, but still, the scorecard of Byrd was way off the mark.
As early as the fifth, Canelo was looking to take a breather on the ropes. He shook his head after shipping a right hand, but it was the best punch of the fight to date and surely enough to win another close session.
As the fight went on, Golovkin kept pressing and ‘Canelo’ did less. He tried to steal rounds with eye-catching singles in the closing minute of the rounds and in Golovkin’s corner, the tactic didn’t go unnoticed.
Abel Sanchez told his fighter: “All three minutes” – and Golovkin followed instructions.
Golovkin walked through a huge right hand in the ninth that brought gasps from the crowd in the ninth to keep ‘Canelo’ under pressure before the Mexican found a big finish.
The 10 round was the best of the fight. The crowd roared as ‘Canelo’ took the centre off the ring and fired off quality combinations at the start of the session, but he couldn’t sustain it and after a minute or so, Golovkin was forcing him to give ground.
Alvarez was busier in the last two, but by then, most ringsiders had Golovkin a few rounds up.