By Raymundo Dioses
In a thrilling encounter, Gennady Golovkin retained the International Boxing Federation middleweight title over 12 compelling championship rounds against Saul Alvarez on September 16, 2017.
Golovkin (37-0-1, 33KO), who was making the fourth defense of the IBF 160 pound title, faced his toughest competition to date in Alvarez. The pair traded early and often inside the sold out T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada in a match that met the expectations of the fight that 22,358 fans in attendance and millions around the world had waited years to see.
There were plenty momentum shifts during the fight that took place on Mexico’s Independence Day weekend as Alvarez had early success and went to Golovkin's body with force, while Golovkin fought behind a stiff jab and controlled the pace of the bout. Alvarez was outshot by Golovkin 169-218 according to landed punch stats recorded by CompuBox.
In the end the judges scored it 113-114 for Golovkin, 114-114 a draw and 118-110 for Alvarez in what is officially recorded as a split-draw. Although both fist throwers threw and landed head rattling bombs, neither fighter was down in the fight; in fact, neither have an official recorded knockdown in their careers.
"It was a big drama show... [The scoring] is not my fault. I put pressure on him every round," said Golovkin of the non-linear scorecards.
"I think I was superior in the ring. I won at least seven or eight rounds. I was able to counterpunch and made Gennady wobble at least three times. If we fight again, it's up to the people. I feel frustrated over my draw," said Alvarez (49-1-2, 34KO), who was contesting for an IBF title for the first time in his 11 year career.