Canelo Alvarez Wins a Controversial Majority Decision over Gennady Golovkin in a Classic Middleweight Clash

Canelo Alvarez Wins a Controversial Majority Decision over Gennady Golovkin in a Classic Middleweight Clash

By Hector Franco | Senior Writer and Editor

Published: September 16, 2018

Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin embrace in the ring after twelve rounds of action. Photo: Ed Mulholland/HBO

Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin embrace in the ring after twelve rounds of action. Photo: Ed Mulholland/HBO

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - When a sequel surpasses the original, it can be an extraordinary occurrence. Last night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) stepped in the ring with Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) in a rematch that eclipsed what the two men produced last September. The crowd of 21, 965 was filled with celebrities and other pugilists showcasing the bout as the most significant of the 2018 calendar year.

Alvarez was coming off of the longest layoff of his career and showed little to no rust throughout the 12 round match. One year and two training camps later the two elite middleweights once again did not have much of a gap between them. The sequel was an overall more exciting bout than the first fight; however, the outcome will be debated for years to come by fans and pundits.

The bout played out differently inside the ring with Alvarez instead of using lateral movement decided to play the role of the aggressor and move forward on Golovkin pushing him backward. The critical aspect as to how the fight was scored is if you believe that the fighter who is usually coming forward and now forced to fight backward automatically loses the round. This could also lead to scoring rounds by a narrative or storyline rather than what is taking place inside the ring. While Golovkin was moving back, he was still active with his jab throughout the entire 12 rounds. It was once again the most prominent punch thrown by either man. Golovkin landed 118 out of 547 jabs at a 22 percent connect rate to 59 out of 256 jabs for Alvarez.

The bout was filled with many swing rounds that could have gone to either fighter based on preference. After six rounds of action, the match was relatively even on many scorecards with an edge towards Alvarez. There were times in the first half of the bout where Golovkin looked winded, and his punch selection was overly simplified to a jab, left hook and an uppercut from the outside that was avoided by Alvarez on many occasions. Alvarez for a large portion of his career has been known as one of the best combination punchers in the sport. Against Golovkin there were times where he was able to land punches in combination that gave him the edge in close rounds.

Last September it was Alvarez who had a late surge to close the gap on the scorecards. This time Golovkin was the one who picked up the intensity by throwing a larger volume of punches in the second half of the bout. By the championship rounds, the fight was up for grabs, and Golovkin began to land some uppercuts and left hooks that visibly shook the young Mexican fighter. Alvarez also had some significant moments landing his own power punches. After 12 rounds of action and with both fighters having a fair amount of moments it was unclear as to who would be awarded the decision.

The judges awarded Alvarez a majority decision victory with scores of 114-114 and 115-113 twice. Alvarez now holds the IBO, WBC, WBA middleweight titles along with being recognized as the lineal middleweight champion. HBO’s Harold Lederman had the fight scored 116-112 in favor of Golovkin. The scoring of the contest has been debated throughout social media since it was announced with some fans claiming that Golovkin was robbed and others stating that it was a close victory for Alvarez. A vast amount had the bout going to either fighter by a round or two. Adding to the controversy of how the fight was scored was that two of the three judges scored the 12th round for Alvarez. Many observers saw the 12th round as a clear round for Golovkin, and if he had been awarded that round by the two judges, the bout would have been ruled a majority draw.

The final punch statistics showed that Golovkin only landed six total body punches to Alvarez’s 46. In total, Alvarez landed 202 out of 622 punches at a 32 percent connect rate and Golovkin landed 234 out of 879 punches at a 27 percent connect rate.

The Canelo-Golovkin fights have been similar to the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez series of battles. Fights in which each bouts outcome was debated. There will be a large contingency that will demand a third bout between the two men. Both matches between the two combatants were highly entertaining, and a third fight could provide fans with a definitive winner. Both fighters have other options available to them, but the most lucrative and high-paying choice is to face each other once again. Canelo-Golovkin part three could be on its way in 2019.

He’s a great fighter but I’m a great fighter and I showed it tonight.
— Canelo Alvarez
We can say a lot of things but first, we have to congratulate Canelo. We can talk about a lot of things. I feel like I’m a champion and he is a champion. I felt really comfortable in there and feel that I did enough to a fighter and boxer I will continue to do my job to prove I’m the best. We would like to have a third fight. It would be great to fight him again. I will be back.
— Gennady Golovkin


Joseph Correa (Frontproof Media): 115-113 Golovkin

Harold Lederman (HBO Sports): 116-112 Golovkin

Brian Campbell (CBS Sports): 116-112 Golovkin

Dan Rafael (ESPN): 114-114 draw

Gareth A. Davies (The Telegraph): 116-112 Golovkin

Josh Peter (USA Today): 115-113 Golovkin

Sports Illustrated: 114-114 draw

Lance Pugmire (LA Times): 114-114 draw

Kevin Iole (Yahoo Sports): 114-114 draw

Mike Coppinger (Ring Magazine): 114-114 draw

Joe DePaolo (Washington Post): 115-113 Golovkin

(Featured Photo: Ed Mulholland/HBO)

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