Canelo Alvarez got the clear win over Gennadiy Golovkin he wanted, though he didn’t attain nor come close to the knockout he was predicting before the fight.
Scores from the judges were 115-113, 115-113, and 116-112 in favor of Canelo, so they had it close once again, but those three judges had it as close as anyone, perhaps having psyched themselves out into assuming this fight must be close.
It wasn’t, really. Bad Left Hook scored the fight 118-110 and 119-109 for Canelo (52-2-2, 39 KO), who retains his undisputed super middleweight championship with zero controversy.
The 40-year-old Golovkin (42-2-1, 37 KO) looked his age in this one, glacially slow compared to the 32-year-old Canelo especially in the early rounds, with a rather mechanical approach. He seemed tentative and unable to pull the trigger on much of anything meaningful, saving gas for the later rounds.
In the last four rounds, he did give his biggest push, but it was hardly vintage GGG, either. On the other side, Canelo was efficient and effective, but didn’t exactly completely overwhelm and truly dominate, either, and there will be questions if he sort of “let Golovkin off the hook,” or if he himself simply is starting to get a bit past his best days.
If we’re being honest, it was clearly the worst fight between the two of them, no discussion to even be had there, with a total lack of drama and — while a major event for the sport with two great stars and a lot of interest in the boxing world and beyond — there just wasn’t the same energy this time that we saw in 2017 and 2018.
On a positive note, the two did embrace post-fight, and showed each other complete respect.
“Thank you, my friend. Thank you. We gave the fans three good fights and thank you for everything,” Canelo said to Golovkin. “He’s a really good fighter. He’s strong. He’s a great fighter, and that’s why we’re here. I’m going to keep going forward to keep my legacy growing strong. He’s tough, he’s a tough fighter.
“I need surgery on my hand,” the Mexican superstar added. “But I’m good, I’m a warrior. That’s why I’m here.”
Asked about Golovkin’s attempt at a late charge, Alvarez said, “It didn’t surprise me. I know him. He’s a strong fighter and I’m not surprised.”
“This is a high-level, this is the best fight in boxing. Everybody knows Canelo. It’s high-level, high performance,” Golovkin said. “Very good quality. This fight was more tactical, like chess. Today, Canelo was better.”
Both agreed that any “beef” is settled between them, and Golovkin said he will keep fighting, noting he still has two belts at middleweight and will be back to defend them.
Canelo, of course, has a clear target: A rematch with Dmitry Bivol, which has already been tentatively planned for Cinco De Mayo weekend in 2023.
“Everybody knows I want Bivol,” Canelo said. “But I need rest. I need to give my body a rest. I need to get strength back in my hand and body and come back stronger than ever. It’s very important for my legacy and for my pride, for my country and family (to get revenge against Bivol). And I will beat him.”
Bivol will have to face Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez on Nov. 5 in Abu Dhabi, defending his WBA light heavyweight title.