Al­varez wins nar­row de­ci­sion for mid­dleweight ti­tle

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

CANELO Al­varez and Gen­nady Golovkin fought 24 rounds in the space of a year, with lit­tle to pick be­tween them.

When the score­cards were to­taled Satur­day night, though, the judges crowned a new mid­dleweight cham­pion of the world — but just barely.

Al­varez won the 160-pound ti­tles held by Golovkin by the nar­row­est of mar­gins, tak­ing a ma­jor­ity de­ci­sion to hand the long­time cham­pion his first loss as a pro in a spir­ited fight that had a sold out crowd roar­ing.

Two judges gave Al­varez the fi­nal round, al­low­ing him to pull out the win.

A year af­ter the two fought to a draw, the sec­ond fight was al­most as close. There were no knock­downs, but the ac­tion was spir­ited through­out as the two bat­tled to the fi­nal bell be­fore a fren­zied crowd at the T-Mo­bile Arena.

Two judges fa­vored Al­varez 115-113, while a third had it 114-114. The AP scored it 114-114. “He’s a great fighter but I’m a great fighter and I showed it tonight,” Al­varez said.

The two fight­ers switched roles from their first fight, with Triple G try­ing to counter Al­varez and the Mex­i­can fighter com­ing for­ward much of the fight. Both landed well to the head and Golovkin (38-1-1) con­trolled some rounds with his jab though nei­ther were ever in any trouble of go­ing down.

The fight was a re­match of a draw last Septem­ber that left nei­ther fighter sat­is­fied. This time it was Golovkin who was up­set, and he stormed out of the ring with­out talk­ing. “I’m not go­ing to say who won tonight be­cause the vic­tory be­longs to Canelo ac­cord­ing to the judges,” Golovkin said later from his dress­ing room. “I thought it was a very good fight for the fans and very ex­cit­ing. I thought I fought bet­ter than he did.”

Ring­side punch stats showed a close fight, though they fa­vored Golovkin by a small mar­gin. Golovkin was cred­ited with land­ing 234 of 879 punches while Al­varez (50-1-2) landed 203 of 622.

“We had a great fight, the one we ex­pected the first time around,” said Abel Sanchez, Golovkin’s trainer. “I had it close go­ing into the 12th round. We had good judges who saw it from dif­fer­ent an­gles — I can’t com­plain about the de­ci­sion, but it’s close enough to warrant a third fight.”

Al­most im­me­di­ately there was talk of a third fight be­tween two mid­dleweights who now know each other well.

“If the peo­ple want us to do it again let’s do it again,” Al­varez said. “For now I’m go­ing to en­joy it with my fam­ily.”

“Un­der the right con­di­tions, yes,” Golovkin said of a re­match.

Al­varez seemed to take con­trol of the fight in the mid­dle rounds, us­ing sharp punches to bat­ter Golovkin, who seemed to slow down from his pace ear­lier in the fight.

“We’re los­ing the fight!” Sanchez told Golovkin af­ter the eighth round.

But Triple G came on strong in the fi­nal few rounds to make it as close as it could be. Golovkin landed sev­eral big punches to start the 12th round but still lost it on the two score­cards that ended up fa­vor­ing Al­varez

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