Canelo Alvarez ends the bitter rivalry against Gennadiy Golovkin with a unanimous decision victory

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 17: Canelo Alvarez (red trunks) lands a punch against Gennadiy Golovkin (white trunks) in their super middleweight title bout at T-Mobile Arena on September 17, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Sarah Bull/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 17: Canelo Alvarez (red trunks) lands a punch against Gennadiy Golovkin (white trunks) in their super middleweight title bout at T-Mobile Arena on September 17, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Sarah Bull/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS — The first two bouts between Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin were classics and featured two of the greatest fighters of their era pitted against each other in an open battle for huge stakes.

On Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena at their third meeting, there was nothing like it. The 40-year-old Golovkin appeared a far cry from the superstar he was in 2017 and 2018 as he gave a broad unanimous decision to Alvarez in the fight for Alvarez’s undisputed super middleweight title.

The judges scored it bizarrely close, with 115-113 twice and 116-112 for Alvarez. The only way Golovkin could win four or five rounds was if he was credited for getting hit. Yahoo Sports had it 120-108 and only saw one round for Golovkin to even consider.

Golovkin’s attempt at revenge ended in a beating by his bitter rival. Alvarez was still at his best, but Golovkin looked like an old faded rightman who couldn’t get his punches away.

Alvarez and Golovkin fought to a controversial tie in 2017 in a fight Golovkin most believed he had won. In 2018 the battle was closer and Alvarez won a controversial decision.

But Alvarez came out smoking and fired huge shots at Golovkin to obviously finish him off, as he said he would throughout the build-up.

Only Golovkin’s fabulously strong chin saved him from being dropped or terminated for the first time in his career.

Alvarez, who lost a light heavyweight title fight to Dmitry Bivol in May, fought smart, aggressively and in control. He was able to take risks with home run shots that he couldn’t in the first two bouts because Golovkin’s pace on Saturday wasn’t anywhere near the same as it was then.

The fans got their money’s worth in those first two bouts, but not so much on Saturday unless you enjoy watching a young fighter beat a classic but vastly outdated fighter out of the tar.

Alvarez said beforehand that he didn’t like Golovkin because Golovkin talked bad about him so much. But when the beatdown finally ended, they hugged in the middle of the ring and talked for a few seconds before the ring filled up.

It ended a long and bitter rivalry between the two, who are among the greatest of their time. Golovkin is 44-0 against everyone else but 0-2-1 against Alvarez.

Alvarez looked like the guy who defeated Caleb Plant last year to not only win the undisputed super middleweight title but jump pound for pound to world No. 1. He didn’t look like it in May when Bivol passed him, but he made a strong case on Saturday.

Golovkin offered little other than heart and a good chin. But he certainly wasn’t dangerous and never seemed a threat to victory.

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