Two of the most accomplished fighters of their generation treated a sellout crowd of 21,965 at the T-Mobile Arena to a contest of extreme physical and psychological intensity that managed even to surpass their first meeting past year, which ended in a controversial split draw. Two judges, Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld, scored the fight 115-113 and the third, Glenn Feldman, 114-114.
A year after their first fight ended in a controversial draw, Alvarez survived a late barrage from Golovkin to clinch a points decision at T-Mobile Arena.
It was his first defeat since the 2005 world amateur championships. Alvarez, the new WBA and WBC middleweight champ, led for the majority of the fight. I wanted the knockout. A GGG victory, like I had it, or 2.
"I'm very emotional. That's what I did". That was me. I thank my team, who else has a team like that?
Kazakh Golovkin, 36, thought he had perhaps done enough to get the decision. "I think we have to give him the credit rather than say what Gennady didn't do".
Said Golovkin: "I feel like I'm a champion, but he's also a champion".
Golovkin threw more punches (879 to Alvarez's 622) and landed more (234 to 202), but Alvarez connected on 143 of his 366 power punches, compared with Golovkin's 116 of 332.
Both fighters were suitably bloodied by the end of a bruising encounter, after Alvares had somehow absorbed a series of blows to the head and chin, while Golovkin's puffy face offered proof that it had been a two-way street.
But on Saturday, even the harshest of his critics - his Mexican countryman who prefer the forward-charging Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.to the crafty counterpunching Alvarez - had to be impressed by just how close he lived up to the embodiment of what makes a traditional Mexican warrior.
Canelo, who was fighting for the first time since serving a six-month ban having tested positive for clenbuterol, appeared willing to sanction a trilogy but not before revelling in his triumph on Mexican Independence Day. Scores were 114-114, 115-113, 115-113 for Canelo.
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