NEVER doubt Canelo Alvarez.
The Mexican superstar came into this trilogy fight against bitter-rival Gennady Golovkin needing a win after losing last time out at light-heavyweight to Dmitry Bivol.
Promoter Eddie Hearn reckoned a Canelo defeat would have been ‘terrible’ for the 32 year-old.
Well, at the end of an intriguing 12 rounds at the T-Mobile Arena, there were only smiles in Canelo’s world as the Mexican powerhouse scored a unanimous decision to spark wild scenes of celebration with the Mexican fans who made up an excitable sold-out crowd.
One judge scored the bout 116-112 while the two others had it 115-113. That was just about spot on. No-one can have a problem with the result this time around after the first two clashes were ridiculously close.
The return back to 168 lbs suited Alvarez but Golovkin will be rueing a slow start during a performance which only sparked into life when it was too late.
This highly anticipated third tussle between two of the hardest hitting fighters in the world came a whole four years after the last time they shared a ring.
Back in 2018, it was Canelo whose hand was raised at the end of 12 frenetic, quality rounds which saw Golovkin suffer defeat for the very first time after coming out on the wrong end of a majority decision.
It was tough on the Kazakh warrior who has little time for Canelo and made no bones about it during the build-up here this week. The bad blood has boiled ever since the Mexican failed a drugs test and was banned for six months which held up this edge-of-your-seat trilogy.
Canelo came to the ring roared on by his adoring public, many of whom were still in the mood for a party after Mexican Independence day celebrations raged in Sin City.
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GGG has been on the road for almost a decade so taking on Canelo – and the pumped up crowd – was nothing new, unlike fighting at super-middleweight which was a first for the 40 year-old.
The atmosphere was electric with a packed T-Mobile chanting ‘Mexico Mexico’ as Canelo started aggressively but couldn’t find a way through the Golovkin rearguard.
The first couple of rounds were cagey with Canelo throwing a lot but not connecting with everything. Golovkin’s face started to redden thanks to Canelo’s jab yet this was already shaping up to be as close as their first two encounters.
The Mexican wanted the KO and was firmly on the front foot, however, a big right hook in the fifth smashed against Golovkin’s granite chin but the Kazakh was able to absorb the force and push his cause on against his far more aggressive opponent.
Golovkin started to show his age as Canelo continued with a barrage of shots which attempted to break down the GGG defence. In the ninth, Alvarez found himself against the ropes but Golovkin just couldn’t make any inroads even if he had begun to throw more shots.
The last few rounds were frenetic and action packed, Golovkin throwing everything at his Mexican opponent but it was too little, too late as Canelo held firm to draw the adulation of his adoring fans.
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