No win­ner as duel ruled draw

Al­varez and Golovkin put on a show but set­tle noth­ing as judges set up re­match.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Lance Pug­mire

LAS VEGAS — Throw­ing heavy leather and show­ing un­bend­ing up­per-body strength, Gen­nady Golovkin and Canelo Al­varez staged a fight for the ages Satur­day that the judges called a draw.

Golovkin (37-0-1) retains his World Box­ing Coun­cil, World Box­ing Assn. and In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion mid­dleweight belts thanks to the score­cards, and Al­varez (49-1-2) has a con­trac­tual right to a re­match be­cause of the out­come.

“I want to thank my fans and of course I want the re­match,” Golovkin said. “This was a real fight. I still have the belts and I’m still cham­pion.”

The judges’ score­cards

gen­er­ated some con­tro­versy as Ade­laide Byrd scored the fight 118-100 for Al­varez. Dave Moretti scored it 115-113 for Golovkin, while Don Trella had it a draw. Even Al­varez’s pro­moter, Os­car De La Hoya, crit­i­cized Byrd’s 118-110 score­card. “What was that?” he asked.

“This is the most ex­cit­ing fight that fans have seen in years,” De La Hoya said. “Ob­vi­ously, it begs for a re­match.”

In a thrilling, back and forth bar­rage of blows — es­pe­cially in the sec­ond half of the bout — the cham­pion from Kaza­khstan threw ham­mer­ing blows that Al­varez weath­ered through the sev­enth, eighth and ninth rounds be­fore 22,358 at T Mo­bile Arena.

In­stead of buck­ling like the 33 fight­ers who’ve been knocked out by the 35-yearold Golovkin, Al­varez, 27, dug deep and both out­boxed and out-pow­ered Golovkin down the stretch.

In the 10th round, Al­varez struck Golovkin with such a thun­der­ous right hand that the cham­pion who had never been knocked down in 350 am­a­teur fights and his en­tire pro ca­reer stag­gered back­ward to his left.

He found his foot­ing and kept punch­ing, just as Al­varez had done af­ter oc­ca­sion­ally get­ting cor­nered against the ropes and belted by Golovkin dur­ing the first half of the bout.

“I thought I won the fight. I was su­pe­rior in­side the ring. I won at least seven, eight of the rounds,” Al­varez said through a trans­la­tor. “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.”

Fol­low­ing fes­tive in­tro­duc­tions with roars from the sell­out crowd, Golovkin sought to un­leash his power, but found in the sec­ond that Al­varez’s hand speed and elu­sive­ness were su­pe­rior.

In the third, Al­varez again avoided Golovkin’s power and landed the bet­ter blows, in­clud­ing a left up­per­cut flush to the chin.

Golovkin went to cor­ner Al­varez in the fourth, hit­ting him with body punches on the ropes.

The fifth round ful­filled the hopes of the ac­tion fight as each man de­liv­ered jar­ring head shots that caused the other to nod “no” to the pain.

Golovkin also smiled off an up­per­cut as each threw heavy punches.

That started a run of hard, thrilling rounds that fea­tured head-rat­tling, char­ac­ter-re­veal­ing moments that forced both the long­time cham­pion Golovkin and former two-di­vi­sion belt-holder Al­varez to show why they’ve earned the metal.

It wasn’t early, but late, that each called upon the le­gendary for­ti­tude seen in box­ing mid­dleweight epics like Marvin Ha­gler-Thomas Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard-Ha­gler, set­ting the stage for a likely Part 2 in May 2018.

Golovkin is now un­beaten in 19 con­sec­u­tive mid­dleweight ti­tle fights.

Al Bello Getty Images

CANELO AL­VAREZ, left, goes the dis­tance with Gen­nady Golovkin in their mid­dleweight ti­tle fight, while Golovkin goes home with his belts — but not a win.

Ethan Miller Getty Images

CANELO AL­VAREZ, right, on the draw: “I thought I won the fight. I was su­pe­rior in­side the ring. I won at least seven, eight of the rounds . ... It’s up to the peo­ple if we fight again. I feel frus­trated over this draw.”

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