Canelo Alvarez blows Gennadiy Golovkin out, although the judges blow it again

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 17: Canelo Alvarez (red and white swim trunks) poses after defeating Gennadiy Golovkin (blue and gold robe) for his super middleweight title at T-Mobile Arena on September 17, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Sarah Bull/Getty Images)

Canelo Alvarez overcame outrageous scorecards to remain the undisputed super middleweight champion on Saturday. (Photo by Sarah Bull/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS – Thankfully, Saturday marked the end of the rivalry between Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin as the judges just don’t seem to get it right when these two are in the ring.

Alvarez drove to a lopsided win over Golovkin in their rubber match at T-Mobile Arena and won a unanimous decision to retain his undisputed super middleweight championship.

Alvarez sensibly won 10 rounds and you could easily have given him 11 or even all 12 rounds. Golovkin didn’t have the fire that marked his career in the Hall of Fame. He threw few punches, never got Alvarez in trouble and seemed unable to draw his guns.

Still, Steve Weisfeld and David Sutherland each had 115-113 for Alvarez, meaning it would have been a tie had Golovkin won another round on Saturday. And anyone who saw that fight knows it wasn’t a draw. Those results are egregiously bad, almost as bad as Adalaide Byrd’s 118-110 card in favor of Canelo in 2017.

Dave Moretti, one of the best judges of all time, had it 116-112, which was too close, but at least he wasn’t a round away from a tie.

The buildup was marked by animosity as the two exchanged taunts. Alvarez has said repeatedly that he will bet on the knockout because he doesn’t care how Golovkin talks about him. And Alvarez actually fired fastballs at Golovkin from the start, looking for the killing shot.

It never came, but he thoroughly beat Golovkin up and the results made it look like a cliffhanger. It was a similar cliffhanger to the 1940 NFL championship game when the Bears defeated the Redskins 73-0.

Golovkin was never in that fight and never let Alvarez show any hint of trouble. But after that he was happy with his game plan.

“Strategy,” he said of his, um, comeback. “I don’t feel bad in the second half. It’s a good fight.”

Golovkin is one of the real good guys in boxing, but I’m sorry. It wasn’t a good fight. You got more than your money’s worth buying the 2017 and 2018 fights between them, but you gave back a lot of it on Saturday. It wasn’t competitive, it had little ebb and flow and there wasn’t a hint of drama.

But the judges… man.

There are occasional epically bad scores in the sport, and the Weisfeld and Sutherland cards in particular enter that nefarious realm.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 17: (LR) Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin embrace in the ring as referee Russell Mora looks on after the final round of their super middleweight title fight at T-Mobile Arena on September 17, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Alvarez retained his titles with a unanimous victory.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin embrace in the ring as referee Russell Mora looks on after the final round of their super middleweight title fight at T-Mobile Arena September 17, 2022 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The sad thing is that it undid what Alvarez achieved. He said he injured his left hand badly during the fight, but it’s hard to tell during the fight.

When it was over, they hugged and had a long chat in the middle of the ring. After DAZN finished interviewing them, they shook hands and hugged again. It was good to see athletes at the highest level able to get past the beef and move on. As Golovkin repeatedly said before the fight, they are professional athletes. Alvarez was gracious after the fight and made it look like he was making an effort to eke out the win, when the reality was far from it.

“Thank you my friend, thank you Golovkin, thank you for everything,” Alvarez said. “We gave the fans three good fights. Thank you for everything. Many thanks for your help. I’ve been through very difficult things in my life. The only thing you can do is keep advancing. I went through difficult times with my defeat. But losing can show how great you can be, how to come back and show humility.”

Incredibly, Golovkin won the last three rounds on Weisfeld’s card and won four of the last five on Sutherland’s. That was a mystery to the rowdy crowd and anyone paying more than a little attention to what was going on in the ring.

“It didn’t surprise me,” Alvarez said of Golovkin’s late rally. “I know him… He’s a strong fighter. For me, I’m just happy to share the ring with him. He’s a really good fighter. I’m glad to be involved in a fight like this.”

Alvarez said Golovkin’s skills kept him from getting the knockout he had been promised. He switched to 58-2-2 in what had to be one of the most satisfying wins of his career. He was taking huge shots at Golovkin the whole time, but Golovkin has an amazingly big chin and used it well. Canelo knew early on that getting rid of his rival as he had promised would be difficult.

“First round, [I knew it would be hard]’ Alvarez said of his hopes of a knockout. “I knew he was tough. He’s a tough fighter. i need an operation My left hand is not good. But I’m good. I’m a warrior. Because of that, I’m here. I can’t hold a glass. It is very bad. But I am a warrior.”

He has proven that throughout his career and in three fights with Golovkin.

And don’t let that detract from Golovkin’s career as he’s one of the best ever to make it and he should be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame once he’s eligible. But he didn’t win Saturday’s fight and wasn’t anywhere near close.

The judges gave him a gift. They made it look closer than it was. They made a blowout look like a barn burner. Luckily the right guy won.

That wasn’t always the case in this series.

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