It was a dream boxing match between Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2) and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0-1) on Saturday night in Las Vegas, but neither fighter will be satisfied with the finish as the fight was ruled an official draw by split decision.
One judge had 118-110 to Canelo, the second 15-113 to GGG, and the final as a 114-114 draw.
The fight was a controversial decision, as watching the fight it is hard to justify that Alvarez won 10 of the 12 rounds in the fight on that 118-110 scorecard. The fight was close and may have very well been a draw, but 118-110 in Canelo’s favor is an absolutely bizarre decision that even the HBO boxing announcers laughed off as “fiction”.
Gennady GGG Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez: Round by round recap
First round started off slow as the two fighters sized each other up. Golovkin started throwing some jabs and was able to connect, to which Canelo was able to counter with some good punches of his own. The round was a good start for Canelo, as Golovkin generally lands more punches and starts off quick. Alvarez was able to keep him off his usual game here.
The second round started quicker than the first, but went much the same. Golovkin spent most of his time looking for surgical jabs, while Canelo responded in kind with some strong counter punches. That said, neither fighter really landed anything too significant, though Canelo did close the round with a good uppercut.
Golovkin came out with some aggression in the third round, but it quickly settled down to where Canelo was again taking control of the fight in a way that we have rarely seen against Golovkin . There was even a point in this round were Canelo was being the blatant aggressor as he reached out for jabs instead of waiting to counter.
The fourth round saw Golovkin come to life more, as he finally forced Canelo up against the ropes after a strong combo. However, Canelo was smooth on the ropes and was able to avoid any power shots from GGG and forcing the fight back into the middle. Golovkin still stayed on top of the fight after it went back to the middle, scoring what was likely his first round win since the first, if at all.
The fifth round was awesome, and the crowd really got into it here. GGG used the momentum from the last round to start off strong, but Canelo was able to counter in the middle of the round. After that though we saw Golovkin land some of his best punches of the fight to this point, and he got Canelo up against the ropes and hit a huge hit to the left side of Canelo’s head. Canelo shook off the punch and was eventually able to get off the ropes with a decent combination to close the round.
Canelo responded to the flurry from the last round about as well as possible in the sixth, as he was aggressive and landed a couple of punches that clearly affected Golovkin . Canelo also landed a bit of a dirty punch after the ref tried to break up a tie up, which probably would have lost him a point if this wasn’t a superfight main event. Golovkin responded a bit after that exchange to even up the round, but the opening from Canelo was probably enough to take this round.
Seventh saw Golovkin open with a good combo to knock Canelo off his game a bit. Canelo is really good at defending when backed against the ropes, but Golovkin was clearly on the offensive and Canelo did not land as many successful counters as he had in past rounds.
Golovkin caught Canelo with a big punch early in the eighth round, again forcing Canelo quickly on the defensive. Canelo did have some good counter punches that hit hard, but GGG was hitting more significant strikes as Canelo was clearly running away for much of the round.
Perhaps due to a bit of desperation, Canelo started the round with some good offense, but Golovkin hit a huge punch that clearly hurt Canelo. Crowd was hoping for a finish here, but Canelo was able to stay alive and even strike back with some strong hooks. Again though, GGG was too much on the defensive to gain an edge in the score.
Canelo had a lot of ground to make up in the 10th, and he nearly made it all up in the beginning as he started strong to get Golovkin backing up for the first time in a while. Golovkin was able to respond thanks to his effective punching withstanding for most of the round, but Canelo had some strong bursts where it looked like he would potentially be able to finish the fight.
The 11th round was close but both fighters clearly started to show some fatigue as the round was a bit slow to get going. Probably another round to Canelo, who handling the fight much like the first few rounds where he was getting strong counter punches and using his defense as an offense instead of just plain being on defense.
Canelo clearly opened the round like he knew he needed a finish to win the fight. He was clearly on the offensive for the first minute, but Golovkin eventually landed a counter that allowed him to take the heat off. The two traded the punches in a slugfest for much of the final 90 seconds of the final round, hoping to seal the deal. Wonderful fight.