Canelo, GGG fight to draw in Las Vegas

Photo+courtesy+of+HBO+Boxing%27s+Facebook+page

Photo courtesy of HBO Boxing’s Facebook page

Nicolo Manzo, Asst. Sports Editor

Boxing’s fight of the year didn’t lack for excitement.

The fight that boxing fans had been clamoring for came to fruition when Mexican superstar Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez went toe-to-toe with the “Kazakhstani KO Machine” Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in a 12-round middleweight bout.

A sellout crowd packed the T-Mobile Arena as the two battled to a split decision draw that saw scores of 114-114, 115-113 for Golovkin, and, most notably and controversially, 118-110 for Álvarez.

In the early rounds, Álvarez effectively ripped several body shots on Golovkin, while GGG was content to establish his jab.

Álvarez seemed to be landing the bigger shots early through the first three of the many tightly-contested rounds.

As the fight wore on, Golovkin continued to stalk Álvarez, pushing him back to the ropes on multiple occasions. GGG continued establishing his stiff jab and ability to cut off the ring.

Just when it seemed Golovkin was tightening his grip on the bout, Álvarez displayed renewed urgency, becoming more of an aggressor throughout the “championship rounds.” All three ringside judges scored Álvarez the winner of rounds 10, 11 and 12.

At the final bell, both fighters raised their arms in a perceived victory.

It wouldn’t quite be boxing without a little controversy, courtesy of Judge Adelaide Byrd’s scorecard. Byrd gave Álvarez 10 of the 12 rounds. Social media chatter and post-fight coverage of her scoring was overwhelmingly negative.

Byrd has since been temporarily “stood down” by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, according to multiple reports.

The CompuBox numbers from the fight show 12 paper-thin-margin rounds. Golovkin outlanded Álvarez in 10 of them,with his jab making the major difference in the punch stats.

So, what happens now? Asked by HBO Boxing commentator Max Kellerman about a rematch, both fighters answered simply and quickly with a variation of “of course.”

Until then, the score remains unsettled between the champions of the middleweight division. The boxing world is waiting.

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