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Canelo Alvarez wins surprisingly close decision in Gennadiy Golovkin trilogy finale

Canelo Alvarez v Gennadiy Golovkin
Gennadiy Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Canelo Alvarez capped off his trilogy with Gennadiy Golovkin with a definitive victory.

In a 12-round bout that saw Canelo (58-2-2, 39 KOs) dominate early and Golovkin (42-2-1, 37 KOs) surge late, it was Canelo who emerged with a unanimous decision win at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday. The judges scored the contest 116-112, 115-113, and 115-113 in Canelo’s favor, though for most of the bout it appeared that Canelo was in control of the action.

With the win, Canelo remained the undisputed champion as the current holder of the WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO, and The Ring super middleweight titles.

This was the third meeting between Canelo and “GGG,” with the first two being highly disputed in the fight community. Canelo fought Golovkin to a split draw on Sept. 16, 2017, and then won a majority decision over his rival a year later. Both outcomes drew a mixture of reactions from fans and peers.

Canelo thanked Golovkin for their trilogy of fights afterwards in his post-fight interview.

“We gave the fans three good fights,” Canelo said. “Thank you for everything.”

The first half of the fight belonged to Canelo as the younger fighter controlled the action, sticking and moving against a tentative Golovkin. Outside of the occasional jab, Golovkin failed to muster up much meaningful offense in the early rounds. Canelo racked up the points with consistent body work and a powerful uppercut.

Later on, Golovkin showed signs of life, not only upping his output but occasionally putting Canelo on the back foot. However, Canelo was still consistently outworking Golovkin and it appeared that he was headed towards a wide win on the scorecard, which turned out to be closer than some might have expected.

With the win, Canelo bounced back from WBA light heavyweight title fight loss to Dmitry Bivol this past May. Canelo was asked if he is seeking a rematch with Bivol and while he said it’s the fight he wants, he added that he needs time to rest and address an injury to his left hand. Bivol is currently scheduled to defend his title against Gilberto Ramirez on Nov. 5.

Golovkin was equally gracious in his post-fight interview.

“Everybody knows this is high-level class for boxing,” Golovkin said. “Everybody knows this is Canelo. You miss one punch, he can finish the fight. Look at his face, look at my face. We trained well and this shows that we did a very good fight as a result of it.”

“Today, Canelo is better,” Golovkin added before he and Canelo shook hands and embraced.

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