CEBU CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – In the fight for middleweight supremacy, the 3 judges could not come to a consensus opinion.
Gennady Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez had to settle for a split-decision draw on Saturday, September 16 (Sunday Manila time), with judge Adalaide Byrd turning in a farcical 118-110 card for Alvarez, another scoring it 115-113 for Golovkin, and the third having it 114-114 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 knockouts), the lineal middleweight champion, controlled the early rounds with his quicker hands and combination punching before Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs), holder of the IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight belts, turned up the heat in round 4, getting more assertive with his jab and pushing Golovkin to the ropes.
Alvarez did some of his best work to the body and with uppercuts while Golovkin’s overhand right was his best weapon.
The fight was tightly contested throughout, and though there were no knockdowns it remained an entertaining affair throughout. All 3 judges agreed that Alvarez won the final 3 rounds and the first two while Golovkin controlled the middle rounds on the two more realistic cards.
“Look I still have the belts and I am still the champion,” said Golovkin when asked about the decision.
Both fighters expressed interest in a rematch in the immediate aftermath.
“Of course I want the rematch. This was a real fight,” said Golovkin. Alvarez also said he wanted a rematch, and disparaged Golovkin’s punching power afterwards.
Manny Pacquiao was among many who disagreed with the decision, tweeting “Did they bring these judges over from Australia?”, a reference to the controversial scoring in his fight against Jeff Horn in July.