Finally. Finale. Fin. And after 36 rounds, a sincere embrace between Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin. Fight results: Canelo.
Boxing fans finally get an outcome not in dispute, but not the thrilling finale everyone hoped for. Alvarez wins a clear decision victory over Golovkin to retain his undisputed, unified titles at super middleweight. Scorecards were a surprisingly close 116-112 X 2 and 115-113.
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) September 18, 2022
“We give you three good fights. Thank you for your support,” said Alvarez after the win. “I've gone through some very difficult things in my life. The only thing you can do is try and continue to move forward. I've gone through difficult times with my defeats. I've actually shown that defeats are great. It enables you to come back and show humility.”
The animosity and venom between the two men vanished once the scorecards were read with fight results to Canelo. Of his longtime foe, Alvarez said, “He's a really good fighter. He's strong. He's a great fighter. That's why we are here, right? I'm glad to share the ring with him.”
Golovkin was equally gracious in defeat. “This is high level for boxing. One punch could finish the fight. We trained well. This shows – in a very good fight,” calling it a chess match.
Golovkin then reached out to shake Alvarez's hand. “I want to shake hands with Canelo, congratulate his whole team. He's a real warrior. If you not understand, you not understand nothing. He's the unanimous champ.”
Golovkin Digs Deep Hole, Can't Dig Himself Out
Sometimes numbers give clarity to the outcome, Golovkin has never been outlanded in a fight until Saturday. Alvarez landed 130 punches to Golovkin's 120, and landed more punches in nine of the 12 rounds. Golovkin landed more in rounds nine, ten, and eleven with the outcome on the line. In the previous 24 rounds, he landed 81 more punches total, and landed more or the same number in 20 of the 24 rounds, and never less than 200 punches in a 12-round fight.
“Probably it was a tactical mistake,” Golovkin admitted after the bout for him to start so conservatively against Golovkin. “It's not up to me to talk about scoring. I just did my job.”
As they did in in two prior bouts, both men showed a remarkable ability to absorb punches, to the point fans might not realize just how hard the pair were hitting each other.
But Golovkin was slowed down. Whether it was the move up to 168 pounds for the first time, or whether it was fighting one of the world's best at age 40, even Golovkin might have a hard time pinning it down. Alvarez remained respectful though of the power he knows Golovkin still possesses, and fought with some caution. Alvarez said he hurt his left hand during the fight, and will need to rest it and also rest himself before a return to the ring.
What Lies Ahead for Canelo and For Golovkin?
Finally, we have a winner – and an end to the discussion for the legion of Alvarez fans present at the T-Mobile Area and watching from around the world. Golovkin's fans were denied revenge for the victory they believe was stolen from him in the first bout.
But no victory would make up for the loss Golovkin suffered in the hotly disputed first fight, and what the win would have meant to his career in the five years since then. But Golovkin was already looking forward after the results. He remains a unified middleweight champion and he made sure to remind everyone.
“I have a great plan. I have a lot of opponents. Congrats to Canelo, congrats to all fans. Remember, I still have three belts at 160. I come back guys. I'm still champion, guys!”
After a break, Alvarez says the rematch with light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol is on his radar.
“Bivol? Of course, everybody knows. I need rest. I need to rest my hand and my body and come back stronger than ever. It's very important for my legacy, for my family, for my country, for everything. And I will beat him.”
Golovkin needed a Big Drama Show, but it never materialized. Alvarez had faster hands, faster feet and more offensive variety helping him forge a decisive lead , though the judges saw it closer than the fans for a change. Father Time is closing in fast on GGG, but he'll try to go out on his own terms in the middleweight division where he's most comfortable. And as he pointed out, that makes both men who fought tonight real champions.