Alvarez beats Golovkin on points to take WBC and WBA middleweight titles

Ed Mulholland

The final round proved crucial in preventing a repeat of the draw both men shared, 364 days earlier at the same T-Mobile Arena venue.

Atlas added that he felt Golovkin was controlling the fight and deserved to win.

Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) now holds the WBA and WBC middleweight titles as Golovkin suffered the first loss of his professional career after 40 matches.

A year after the two fought to a draw, the second fight was nearly as close.

So no, it was no surprise that Alvarez, seven months removed from a pair of failed drug tests and fresh off a six-month suspension, was so eager to declare Saturday one of the happiest nights of his life.

There was plenty of enthusiasm heading into last September's fight between Canelo and GGG, which included some memorable moments and flurry of punches. Rather, it is time to see Alvarez defend his crown against an excellent crop of younger middleweights, including Danny Jacobs, Jaime Munguia, a 21-year-old who fought on the undercard last night, Errol Spence and either of the Charlo brothers.

While Golovkin appeared to take issue with the result, there was little sense of controversy about Saturday's outcome.

Golovkin added: "Of course we would like to have a third fight if we can negotiate that". Even if CompuBox were available at a split speed rate, it would be hard to valorize one fighter's punching exploits over the other.

Like his promoter Oscar De La Hoya before him, Alvarez's matinee idol looks and ability to fill arenas attracted criticism that he's a pretty boy and more sizzle than steak.

Indeed it was, as Alvarez abandoned his strategy from the first fight to box moving forward against Golovkin. "I'm satisfied with the way we did it today".

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It was about as close as could be, too.

Golovkin, a Kazakhstan native training out of Los Angeles, who initially refused a post-fight interview with HBO's Max Kellerman, thought he won the fight. Both fighters dug deep for the so-called championship rounds but Golovkin seemed to have the edge.

"My corner told me that I needed to win the final round and that what's I did".

Golovkin also said he would be willing to do a trilogy with Canelo under the right conditions.

Judge Glenn Feldman scored the fight 114-114, and judges Steve Weisfeld and Dave Moretti had it 115-113 for Canelo.

Sanchez, meanwhile, brushed off suggestions that Golovkin had once more been on the wrong end of a dubious performance by the three ringside judges. This time it was Golovkin who was upset, and he stormed out of the ring without talking.

Standing in the center in round four, Golovkin connected with a solid right that caught Canelo's attention.

Anyone scoring the Canelo-GGG fight at home had a tough task-at-hand.

To settle who is really the best, though, they may just have to do it a third time. It was good enough to warrant a third meeting. The bad news is this is boxing, and business has a way of mucking up the simplest of plans.

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