On Saturday night, Las Vegas once again played host to a massive boxing superfight, as Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin went toe-to-toe for a bevy of championships. In addition to the lineal middleweight championship, the WBC, IBF, Ring Magazine and WBA Super middleweight titles were all on the line at the T-Mobile Arena.
Golovkin went into the fight undefeated in his professional career, with a record of 37-0 with 33 knockouts. Alvarez entered the fight with a record of 49-1-1 with 34 knockouts, with his lone loss coming against Floyd Mayweather back in 2013. This was the boxing fight of the year according to many, although of course casual interest was nowhere near August’s megafight between Mayweather and Conor McGregor.
Golovkin had an inch-and-a-half height advantage and a one-inch reach advantage over Alvarez, but Canelo is a full eight years younger than the Kazakhstani fighter. With a multitude of celebrities and notables in attendance, the sellout crowd of 20,000 was hoping to see a knockout. The end result was far more entertaining and controversial than anyone could have anticipated.
The opening rounds were an intense feeling-out process, as both fighters eased into their established strategies. Golovkin used his lightning-fast hands to land head jabs and counter-punches and keep Canelo at bay, while Alvarez attempted to press forward with body shots. More often than not through the opening half of the fight, however, Alvarez found himself backed up against the ropes, forced to dance away.
It appeared early on that Canelo had no answer for GGG’s barrage of head shots and counter-punches, taking the lion’s share of the blows in the bout. By the fifth rounds, both men were smiling and shaking their heads at one another following attacks, each insisting the other was incapable of hurting him.
By the seventh and eighth rounds, Alvarez had slowed considerably, while Golovkin took Alvarez’s best shots and pressed forward ceaselessly, like a machine. In the ninth, both fighters repeatedly went forehead-to-forehead and began trading bombs in earnest. Despite his slowdown, it was arguably Canelo’s strongest round at that point in the fight, but time was running out.
Canelo landed huge combinations in the 10th and 11th rounds as well, but nothing was enough to put Golovkin away, and fatigue was readily apparent. The final round showed just how indestructible Golovkin is, as he weathered a six-punch combination from Canelo and walked right through it. The two men traded haymakers all the way to the final bell as the crowd roared its approval, well aware they’d just seen a classic.
Ultimately the fight went the distance, and then was left to the judges to decide. Experts watching the fight on social media had it everywhere from a slight Alvarez edge to a slight GGG edge, to a Golovkin blowout, but none of them had the final say. The Las Vegas judges scored it 118-110 Alvarez, 115-113 Golovkin, and 114-114 to rule the match, officially, incredibly, a draw.
Word is the promoters of this fight would love to have a rematch, preferably on Cinco De Mayo. We have no doubt boxing fans will be dying to see a sequel to this incredible fight.