Capping off their trilogy in disappointing fashion on Saturday night in Las Vegas, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez defeated Gennadiy Golovkin for the second time to retain the WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO, and The Ring super middleweight championships.
Canelo dominated the fight from the opening bell en route to a unanimous-decision win. Two judges scored the bout 115-113, and the third had it 116-112, though it didn't even seem that close.
Dan Rafael @DanRafael1
Rd 12: Canelo 10-9. I have Canelo winning easily 11-1. They have a long embrace when it's over. Dud of a fight. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/boxing?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#boxing</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CaneloGGG3?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CaneloGGG3</a>
Golovkin's performance was roundly criticized, with many observers noting it looked like he was aging before our eyes.
The bad blood between the two fighters had been boiling for years. It has led to strong trash talk from Canelo and Golovkin leading up to Saturday's bout.
"It's personal for me because he talks [about] a lot of things," Alvarez told reporters earlier this week. "I just can't wait to be in the ring."
A showdown between Canelo and Golovkin has been expected for more than two years. Both parties agreed to a deal for a trilogy fight in March 2020, but a date and location had not been determined at that point.
The first meeting between Canelo and Triple G took place in September 2017. Both superstars fought to a split-decision draw, essentially guaranteeing a rematch would be set up.
Canelo and Golovkin squared off for a second time one year later. They went 12 rounds again, but Canelo prevailed with a majority decision to win the WBA, WBC, and The Ring middleweight titles. It was the only loss of Golovkin's career before Saturday.
One reason it took 12 months to set up the second match is that Canelo tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug in March 2018.
The positive drug test seemed to ignite Golovkin's intense dislike of Canelo.
"Canelo's team are using these drugs, and everybody's trying to pretend it's not happening," Golovkin told reporters in March 2018. "This guy, he knows. This is not his first day in boxing. He proves he gets benefits from everyone, and he can get away with it. The commentators, commission, doping commission—this is a very bad business, [it's] not sport. Check him on a lie detector, and then we can find out everything."
Alvarez entered this bout coming off a loss to Dmitry Bivol in his last fight, though he had to jump to light heavyweight for his title fight with the Russian. His unanimous-decision loss was just the second defeat of his career.
The Mexican superstar got back on track and silenced his longtime rival. His career record now stands at 58-2-2 in 62 fights. Golovkin falls to 42-2-1 in his career.