Gen­nady ‘GGG’ Golovkin-Saul ‘Canelo’ Al­varez bout ends in con­tro­ver­sial draw

Con­tro­ver­sial draw ex­pected to bring Canelo-GGG re­match

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - FRONT PAGE - By Gil­bert Man­zano

Saul “Canelo” Al­varez and Gen­nady “GGG” Golovkin em­braced in the cen­ter of the ring after de­liv­er­ing an in­stant Las Ve­gas clas­sic Satur­day at T-Mo­bile Arena.

But mu­tual re­spect was all the two gifted box­ers took home.

The po­ten­tial fight of the year ended in a con­tro­ver­sial draw, an out­come that seemed just to the an­nounced crowd of 22,358. But the controversy came courtesy of the Ne­vada judges, who are known for sur­prises.

Adalaide Byrd, who has re­ceived con­stant crit­i­cism for her judg­ing in the past, had Al­varez win­ning by the wide mar­gin of 118-110. Don Trella scored it 114-114 and Dave Moretti had Golovkin win­ning by 115-113.

“Big drama show,” Golovkin said. “I’m still cham­pion. I still have all the belts.”

Golovkin, 35, and Al­varez, 27, will now press the re­set but­ton and re­group for the re­match that is des­tined to de­liver like Satur­day night.

“No sur­prises, we knew this was go­ing to be a war,” said Abel Sanchez, Golovkin’s trainer. “Canelo was very re­silient.”

Golovkin, the once mid­dleweight ter­ror, went into boogey­man mode dur­ing the mid­dle rounds by stalk­ing and over­pow­er­ing a fa­tigued Al­varez. Golovkin’s big­gest punch came in the fifth round when he rocked Al­varez onto the ropes with a power right hand.

“No, truth­fully,” Al­varez said when asked if he was ever hurt by Golovkin. “There re­ally wasn’t any power that didn’t sur­prise me.”

It didn’t mat­ter what Al­varez landed. Golovkin wasn’t go­ing to stop charg­ing for­ward. Not for the right hand, up­per­cuts or the fast combi-

na­tions that the Mex­i­can fighter was throw­ing.

The tide turned when Al­varez (49-1-2, 34 knock­outs) con­nected on a mas­sive right hand that made Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) stum­ble in the 10th round. It was the first time in Golovkin’s dec­o­rated ca­reer that he ap­peared hurt.

Al­varez ral­lied dur­ing the cham­pi­onship rounds by throw­ing every­thing he had left at Golovkin. Like two rams stuck in a phone booth, the foes un­loaded on each other as the crowd stood dur­ing the fi­nal min­utes.

“I thought I won the fight,” Al­varez said. “I was su­pe­rior in­side the ring. I won at least seven or eight of the rounds. I was able to coun­ter­punch and even make Gen­nady Golovkin wob­ble a cou­ple of times.

“It’s up to the peo­ple if we fight again. I feel frus­trated over this draw.”

The red-haired fighter earned Golovkin’s re­spect early with his fast hands and head move­ments.

Golovkin backed up after many quick com­bi­na­tions from Al­varez in the open­ing three rounds. Then Al­varez con­nected on a big up­per­cut dur­ing the third round that woke up Golovkin. The re­spect was gone as the knock­out artist from Kaza­khstan be­gan to tee off on Al­varez.

“Of course I want a re­match, this was a real fight,” Golovkin said.

Bob Ben­nett, the Ne­vada Ath­letic Com­mis­sion ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, said Byrd had an off night.

“I re­spect what Adalaide has done,” Ben­nett said. “But like any busi­ness, you have bad days.”

De­spite Byrd’s scor­ing, many re­porters on press row had it a 114-114 draw or 115-113 in fa­vor of Golovkin.

Golovkin ver­sus Al­varez lived up to its prom­ise: An ac­tion-packed fight that is surely turn­ing into box­ing’s next mem­o­rable tril­ogy.

“He didn’t win this fight,” Al­varez said. “We’ll fight in the se­cond one, but I will win that one.”

Chase Stevens Las Ve­gas Re­view-Journal @cssteven­sphoto

Gen­nady Golovkin, left, and Saul Al­varez each raises his arms in vic­tory at the end of their mid­dleweight cham­pi­onship fight.

Chase Stevens Las Ve­gas Re­view-Journal @cssteven­sphoto

Saul Al­varez takes a right hand to the head from mid­dleweight champ Gen­nady Golovkin.

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