Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin gave it all they had Saturday night in the ring, but their highly anticipated title unification bout surprisingly ended in a draw, much to the disappointment of the sold-out, raucous crowd of 22,358 at T-Mobile Arena.
Judge Adelaide Byrd oddly scored it 118-110 for Canelo, Dave Moretti had it 115-113 for Golovkin and Don Trella scored it 114-114.
So Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) retains his middleweight title belts with the draw. Canelo’s record goes to 49-1-2 with 34 KOs and he remains the lineal middleweight champ.
The draw means that it’s likely there will be an immediate rematch. Canelo, 27, has a rematch clause in the contract and the 35-year-old Golovkin said after the fight that he wanted a rematch.
Here’s the round-by-round updates.
Round 1: Canelo looking big and strong, still wearing his red beard. GGG looks like he always does. Ready for a fight. Both men look deadly serious. GGG cuts off the ring right away. Jabbing. Canelo tentative. Right by Canelo, and right by GGG follows. Little action so far. Left to the body by Canelo. Couple rights by GGG. Combo by Canelo. Right uppercut misses by Canelo, but he connects with another combo and wins the round.
Round 2: GGG jabbing strongly. Right overhand by Canelo glances off. Short right and left by Canelo. Another right by Canelo. He walks GGG back. Short uppercut by GGG. Canelo counters with a left uppercut. GGG continues to use the jab effectively. GGG ends the round by scoring a combination.
Round 3: GGG continued the jabbing, Canelo counter with a left to the liver. Canelo comes forward. Canelo misses with a jard right. Canelo connects with body shot and hard uppercut. They clinch for the first time. Left and right by GGG.
Round 4: Both fighters continue to be cautious. Combo by Canelo, GGG counters with a combo of his own. Left hook by GGG. He continues to cut off the ring, then unloads on Canelo on the ropes. Right to the body by GGG, Canelo comes back with a right to the body. Now GGG walks Canelo back as Canelo misses with left uppercut. Strong round for GGG.
Round 5: Both fighters keep their distance. Combo by Canelo. GGG has him on the ropes again. Canelo throws right haymaker. Wild left misses. Left to the head connects for Canelo. Another body shot by Canelo. Then a right to the head glances off. Vicious right to the head by GGG as Canelo shakes his head. as if it didn’t faze him. Crowd roars. Combo by GGG scores. GGG looking strong again. Wins big in the 5th.
Round 6: GGG looking quicker and attacks Canelo on the ropes again. Left uppercut by Canelo scores. GGG moving well. Crowd exhorts Canelo to do better. GGG masterful at cutting off the ring. GGG attacks the body. Body shot and uppercut by GGG. Canelo comes back with a combo and left uppercut. Crowd chants for GGG. Another big round for GGG.
Round 7: A firefight, First Canelo connects, then GGG counter with a hard right. Right overhand by Canelo as GGG drops a right hand and continues to stalk Canelo. GGG chases Canelo around the ring. Unloads on the ropes again. Canelo seems confused. Counter left by Canelo, but again, not enough work by Canelo as GGG consistently gets him on the ropes. Another GGG round.
Round 8: Hard right uppercut by GGG. Canelo counters with a right. Hard jab by GGG. A short right by GGG. Right uppercut by Canelo misses. Left uppercut by GGG. Left uppercut by GGG. Vicious right uppercut by Canelo lands. But GGG wallks through it. GGG stalks Canelo again. GGG’s ring skills are obvious and tremendous.
Round 9: GGG throws a combo. Canelo’s body shots don’t seem to faze GGG. Tremendous exchange by the two fighters. Canelo looks to be in trouble. He can’t get off the ropes. But he connects on a huge right hand. Canelo has been on the ropes all night. Again GGG throws combos and Canelo misses with a wild right. Left and a right by Canelo connects.
Round 10: They’re going toe-to toe. Right s by Canelo stagger GGG. Both unloading hard shots. GGG hitting Canelo with hard shots with those heavy hands. Crowd chants for Canelo. They clinch. Left by Canelo as GGG continues to walk him down. Toe to toe action with point-blank shots connecting. Wow! Canelo has a good round in a close round.
Round 11: Right by Canelo connects, but they don’t seem to hurt GGG. Left uppercut by Canelo scores. GGG gets him on the ropes again and throws a right uppercut. Counter right by Canelo clips GGG. Two hard rights by Canelo score big. Right by GGG connects but Canelo counters. Right and left from GGG, Left counter by GGG scores in a big round. No knockdowns yet, though.
Round 12: Right uppercut by Canelo and another hard right. Combo by Canelo scores. GGG attacks. Left by GGG. What a chin he has! They go toe-to-toe as Canelo misses with a right against GGG but the two fighters throw it down for the last minute of the fight. A real slugfest. What a fight! The final bell rings and it’s over. Good round for Canelo but it could be closer than that. Strong finish by both fighters.