Saul “Canelo” Alvarez ended Gennady Golovkin’s unbeaten reign as unified middleweight champion late Saturday a she battled to victory by majority decision in a thrilling rematch.
Alvarez showed skill and durability to outlast Golovkin in another attritional contest between the two evenly-matched rivals at the T-Mobile Arena, one year after they had fought to a controversial draw at the same venue.
The Mexican inflicted the first defeat of Kazakh slugger Golovkin’s career after two judges scored it 115-113 in his favour, with another judge scoring it even at 114-114.
— Golden Boy Boxing (@GoldenBoyBoxing) September 16, 2018
With an array of stars, including LeBron James, Denzel Washington and Will Smith watching from the stands, Golovkin appeared to edge clear in the early rounds, working well behind his stiff left jab, but Alvarez remained unruffled.
The Mexican, who had been accused of “running” in the first fight, came forward relentlessly and dominated the mid part of the fight.
Golovkin attempted to rally, rocking Alvarez with a stinging right hand in the 10th before pinning him on the ropes with a flurry of hooks.
But he was never able to press home his advantage, and each time Alvarez was able to evade the looming danger to slide away and respond with blows of his own.
With Golovkin needing a big finish in the 12th, Alvarez again proved up to the challenge, shrugging off an early uppercut to hold on for the win and deny his opponent what would have been a record-breaking 21st title defence.