Golovkin, Al­varez fight to a bru­tal draw; re­match to come

The Garden Island - - Morning Briefing - Tim Dahlberg

LAS VE­GAS — Gen­nady Golovkin re­tained his mid­dleweight ti­tles Satur­day night, fight­ing to a draw with Canelo Al­varez in a bru­tal bat­tle that ended with both fight­ers with their hands aloft in vic­tory.

The mid­dleweight show­down lived up to its hype as the two fight­ers traded huge punches and went after each other for 12 rounds. Nei­ther fighter was down and nei­ther ap­peared se­ri­ously hurt but both landed some huge punches to the head that had the crowd scream­ing in ex­cite­ment.

Golovkin was the ag­gres­sor through­out and landed punches that had put other fight­ers to the can­vas. But he couldn’t put Al­varez down, and the Mex­i­can star more than stood his own in ex­changes with Triple G. The two were still brawl­ing as the fi­nal sec­onds ticked down and the fight went to the score­cards.

Al­varez was lead­ing after the first three rounds, then Golovkin dom­i­nated the mid­dle rounds. After a pep talk from his cor­ner, Al­varez came out more ag­gres­sive in the 10th round and won the last three rounds on all the judges’ score­cards.

One judge had Al­varez win­ning 118-110, a sec­ond had it 115-113 in Golovkin’s fa­vor, while the third had it 114-114. The As­so­ci­ated Press scored it 114-114.

Golovkin, an Olympian from Kaza­khstan who has never lost in 38 pro fights, re­tained his mid­dleweight ti­tles with the draw. But Al­varez showed that he could take Golovkin’s punches and land telling power shots of his own.

A fren­zied crowd of 22,358 at the T-Mo­bile Arena roared through­out the fight as the two mid­dleweights put on the kind of show that boxing purists had an­tic­i­pated. They brawled, used sharp jabs and counter punched at times, with nei­ther one will­ing to give the other much ground.

“Con­grat­u­la­tions all my friends from Mex­ico,” Golovkin said. “I want a true fight. I want a big drama show.”

There was plenty of drama late in the fight as Al­varez seemed to rally and rocked Golovkin with up­per­cuts and big right hands. But just as soon as he landed he of­ten took one back from the slug­ger so feared that most other fight­ers avoided him.

“I won seven, eight rounds eas­ily,” Al­varez said.

It was a bat­tle from the open­ing bell, as Golovkin tried to walk Al­varez down only to get hit by sharp counter punches.

“To­day people give me draw. I fo­cus on boxing,” Golovkin said. “Look my belts, I’m still cham­pion. I’ve not lost.”

Both fight­ers raised their hands in tri­umph at the fi­nal bell and jumped into the arms of cor­ner men. Then they waited as the score­cards were added up to see who would leave the ring with the belts.

“It’s not my fault,” Golovkin said. “I put pres­sure on ev­ery round.”

Golovkin pre­dicted be­fore the fight that the late rounds would re­sem­ble a street fight, and in a way they did. Both fight­ers were will­ing to trade, and both had no prob­lems land­ing hard shots to the head.

Golovkin had chased Al­varez for nearly two years, try­ing to get the sig­na­ture fight that would pay him mil­lions and make him a pay-per-view draw on his own. Al­varez, the red­head known as Canelo, fi­nally agreed to the match after Golovkin looked vul­ner­a­ble ear­lier this year.

JOHN LOCHER / AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Gen­nady Golovkin, left, fights Canelo Al­varez dur­ing a mid­dleweight ti­tle fight Satur­day in Las Ve­gas.

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