Alvarez edges Golovkin to take middleweight titles
LAS VEGAS — 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 (381-1) 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.
Saul Alvarez of Mexico lands a punch against Gennady Golovkin in the 12th round during a middleweight title boxing match, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, in Las Vegas. Alvarez won by majority decision.