NEVER have so many boxing experts been so diverse in their views on a fight.
It wasn’t just the overall result of Canelo Alvarez’s fight against Gennady Golovkin — which saw the Mexican win via majority decision — that created such division. It was almost every round.
The perilously-close bout was judged round-by-round by a host of veteran boxing scribes on Twitter. Every three minutes they came up with drastically different verdicts on which fighter had enjoyed the upperhand.
Most agreed it was close — and that’s why anyone calling this a robbery needs to have a rethink — but that was about the only area of consensus.
None was more divisive, or decisive, than the 12th round.
All three judges had Alvarez winning 105-104 entering the final three minutes.
Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld gave the Mexican the nod in the 12th and handed him the win 115-113, while Glenn Feldman gave it to Golovkin, creating a 114-114 draw.
This was perhaps the biggest moment of controversy at the end of the day because some of the biggest names in boxing journalism thought it was a GGG round.
WHAT THE FIGHTERS SAID
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.
On all three judges cards Alvarez dominated the middle rounds from the fifth through to the eighth, building a handy lead to defend in the closing stages.
“He’s a great fighter but I’m a great fighter and I showed it tonight,” Alvarez said.
“I showed my victory with facts,” he added. “He was the one who was backing up. It was a clear victory.”
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 Golovkin was never able to press home his advantage, and each time Alvarez was able to evade the looming danger to 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.
“I’m not going to say who won tonight, because the victory belongs to Canelo according to the judges,” Golovkin said. “I thought it was a very good fight for the fans, and very exciting. I thought I fought better than he did.”
Ringside punch stats showed a close fight, though they favored Golovkin by a small margin. Golovkin (38-1-1) was credited with landing 234 of 879 punches while Alvarez (50-1-2) landed 203 of 622.
“We had a great fight, the one we expected the first time around,” said Abel Sanchez, Golovkin’s trainer. “I had it close going into the 12th round. We had good judges who saw it from different angles — I can’t complain about the decision, but it’s close enough to warrant a third fight.”
An array of stars from the movie and sports world were among a crowd of 21,965 for the most anticipated fight of the year, with LeBron James rubbing shoulders with Hollywood icons such as Denzel Washington and Will Smith.
— with AFP