Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is the new WBA (Super), WBC and IBO middleweight champion after stunning Gennady Golovkin via a majority decision.
Judges awarded the blockbuster rematch in favour of Mexican Canelo (50-1-2) 115-113, 115-113, 114-114 in Las Vegas on Saturday, much to the surprise of Golovkin.
It was a high-quality and evenly-contested 12-round fight at T-Mobile Arena, where the two stars locked horns again – a year on from their drawn bout.
Kazakh Golovkin (38-1-1) stormed out of the ring and did not take part in a post-bout interview, angered with the decision after tasting defeat for the first time in his career.
Golovkin and Canelo were slated to go toe-to-toe in May but the clash was postponed after the latter tested positive for clenbuterol and served a six-month ban.
Fans were forced to wait but it was worth it as Golovkin and Canelo traded blows in an absorbing contest in Nevada, where Los Angeles Lakers and NBA superstar LeBron James was among the celebrities ringside.
There was plenty of respect between the two fighters in the opening round, while Canelo continued to take it to Golovkin – pushing the defending champion onto the backfoot.
Canelo’s left arm did damage early but Golovkin dominated for large parts, though the former remained aggressive throughout.
And the tactic paid off as Canelo dethroned Golovkin on Mexican Independence Day.