TWELVE months after their first fight produced one of the worst scorecards in boxing history, middleweight king Gennady Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez engaged in another impossible-to-score rematch in Las Vegas.
Golovkin, the WBA, WBC and IBO champion, was chasing a place in boxing history as he attempted to make a record-breaking 21st consecutive defence of his middleweight crowns against Mexican idol Alvarez at a sold-out T-Mobile Arena.
But he was stunned — and lost his unbeaten record — as two of the three judges gave it to Canelo 115-113 to give him the title via majority decision. The third judge scored it a 114-114 draw.
“He’s a great fighter but I’m a great fighter and I showed it tonight,” Alvarez said.
It came down to the final round. If one of the judges had scored it for Golovkin instead of Alvarez it would have been a draw — and a repeat of the result when the two men met in 2017.
I’ll be interested to see the round by round scoring. Press row, we were all over the place.
— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixYS) September 16, 2018
In their first meeting, Alvarez fought cagily, deftly slipping away on the ropes and consistently circling to the left to avoid the Kazakh’s fearsome jab.
Yet while Alvarez was able to frustrate Golovkin, he did little in the way of meaningful damage. Only a freak scorecard from judge Adalaide Byrd, who triggered uproar after ruling it 118-110 Alvarez, denied Golovkin a victory.
This time around, the Mexican fought like a Mexican. Alvarez stood his ground and spent periods stalking Golovkin, who regardless of his opponent’s change of approach will again feel robbed. He left the ring without speaking to the broadcast team.
It sets up a potential trilogy fight and Alvarez is ready to oblige. “If the people want another fight, we’ll do it again … we’ll do it again, no doubt,” he said.
#CaneloGGG2 official scores pic.twitter.com/BIEcrMvZeZ
— Write on the Button (@mikebaca2) September 16, 2018
GGG-Canelo: Round by round
R1: A respectful start by both fighters as they each looked to establish the jab. Canelo attempted a couple of left hooks but there was no damage done to either man. Tough to score. GGG 10-9
R2: GGG isn’t marching forward with the same willing abandon as he often does and that’s because Canelo is landing. The Mexican hit the champ with left hooks to the body and jaw and did enough to square it up at 19-19.
R3: Canelo continues to stalk GGG and load up on his shots. He’s growing in confidence but it remains to be seen whether Golovkin is bothered, or just warming up. Canelo 29-28
R4: Nice round for GGG as he lifted his intensity, kept firing the jab and landed a beautiful left rip to the body. We’re all square again at 38-38
R5: Canelo fires right back, landing a hard shot early in the round and standing his ground. But Golovkin finishes another toss-up round the stronger. This fight is so hard to call and there’s so many different opinions by experts online. GGG 48-47
R6: More of the same in round six but we’re giving this one to Canelo, only because the fight is so close and neither man deserves a four rounds to two lead at this point. 57-57
R7: That’s a Golovkin round. Much more active with the jab than his opponent and made Alvarez mainly miss when he fired back. GGG 67-66
R8: Canelo looking the slightly fresher man as marking begins to show below GGG’s eyes. We’re square again at 76-76
R9: Canelo is on the front foot now, forcing GGG to circle and jab as he grabs the upperhand. He has no fear of the champ’s power. Canelo 86-85
R10: The back-and-forth continues as GGG enjoys a nice period, forcing Canelo into evasion mode for a significant period of the round. This is dead even. 95-95
R11: GGG showing why he’s the champ as he pours on the pressure early in the round. Canelo has heart, but he’s going to need more than that now. GGG 105-104
R12: GGG finishes the fight with blood trickling from his right eye but – on our scorecard at least – he’s done enough to retain his title. GGG 115-113
“Don’t p*** me off”: Lemieux savages O’Sullivan
Canadian David Lemieux has stopped the clock in the first round with a savage left hook that left Ireland’s Gary O’Sullivan on the mat.
Lemieux was unhappy with the O’Sullivan team’s trash talk in the lead up and gave an emphatic response.
“Don’t p*** me off guys,” Lemieux said. “I guess the message must be clear, I don’t like the trash talking at all that was done to me from O’Sullivan’s side so I kept it in me and I put to the right timing.
“I’m a respectable fighter, I come in the ring, I don’t disrespect my opponents, I train hard, I don’t trash talk and I respect that kind of behaviour.
“I felt great, I’m in superb shape. I gave you all a great knockout and a great event so I hope you’re all happy.”
Lemieux, who fought Gennady Golovkin in 2015, said he’d like another shot at the champion but also Alvarez.
“I’m not rooting for anybody, I want to fight both of them,” he said in the post-bout interview.
“I think it’s a 50-50 chance fight. Canelo is an excellent boxer, so is Golovkin. It’s going to be an interesting fight. I once fought Golovkin at his peak and I’m getting to my peak so maybe in the near future Golovkin will fight Lemieux in his peak.
“They’re two excellent fighters and I’m looking forward to fighting both of them and the winner of course but there’s no middleweight like David Lemieux.”
In his previous bout against GGG, Lemieux was knocked out in the eighth round.
Today was a different story with a perfectly timed left hook leaving O’Sullivan dazed on the floor and bleeding from the nose.
David Lemieux’s first round KO of Gary O’Sullivan, in gif form #CaneloGGG2 pic.twitter.com/MRRInPz0U3
— Ryan Songalia (@ryansongalia) September 16, 2018
Twenty one-year-old moves to 31-0
Mexico’s Jaime Munguia successfully defended his WBO light-middleweight crown for the second time, battering outclassed Canadian Brandon Cook to score a one-sided knockout win.
The talented 21-year-old from Tijuana swarmed all over the outmatched Cook from the start of a one-sided undercard contest.
Munguia had Cook in trouble with a flurry of punches at both the end of the first and second rounds before unloading in the third.
A series of shots to the body and head as Cook crouched on the ropes forced referee Benjy Esteves to step in to prevent further punishment.
Munguia is one of the divisions brightest prospects and is seen as a potential future opponent for middleweights Gennady Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, who fight in the main event later Saturday.
Munguia improved to 31-0 with 26 knockouts following the victory as Cook slipped to 20-2.
“With each fight you will see me getting better,” Munguia said afterwards. “I just want to show that I can get better and that I want to face the best, so I can show that I am the best.” Cook meanwhile complained of being hit with low blows that went unpunished. “He kept hitting me in the hip and a lot of low blows, which surprised me because the referee is experienced and didn’t give Munguia a warning,” he said.
“He’s tough, and it is what it is, and I hope to come back soon.”
Chocolatito pitches a shutout
Roman Gonzalez bounced back from the first two losses of his career to stop Moises Fuentes with a right hand in the fifth round that left his opponent out cold on the canvas.
The fighter popularly known as Chocolatito pitched a shutout against Fuentes, winning every round before landing the big right that finished the fight without the referee even bothering to count.
The comeback win at super flyweight came after Gonzalez lost his title and then lost a rematch to Wisaksil Wangek.
Jaime Munguia (Mexico, 31-0) defeated Brandon Cook (Canada, 20-2) for the WBO world super welterweight title with 3rd round KO
David Lemieux (Canada, 40-4) defeated Gary O’Sullivan (Ireland, 28-3) at middleweight with 1st round KO
Roman Gonzalez (Nicaragua, 47-2) defeated Moises Fuentes (Mexico, 25-6-1) at junior bantamweight with 5th round KO