Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin fight to draw; both call for rematch – ESPN

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LAS VEGAS — Everyone expected Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez to deliver an action-packed classic, and they did just that in a ferocious battle. What it lacked, however, was any consistency from the judges, who ruled the fight a split draw.

Golovkin retained his unified middleweight title Saturday night — Mexican Independence Day — before a sold-out crowd of 22,358 at the T-Mobile Arena, but few were satisfied with the result.

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Judge Dave Moretti scored the fight 115-113 in favor of Golovkin, Adalaide Byrd stunningly had it 118-110 for Alvarez, and Don Trella scored the fight 114-114.

Byrd gave Golovkin only the fourth and seventh rounds on a scorecard that likely will go down as one of the most shocking in boxing history.

ESPN.com scored the fight 116-112 for Golovkin, as did HBO’s unofficial scorer, Harold Lederman.

Afterward, Golden Boy Promotions’ Oscar De La Hoya said Alvarez would exercise a rematch clause for another fight, but another member of Alvarez’s camp later clarified that they’ll talk about it and that no official decision has been made yet.

Golovkin, boxing’s longest-reigning world titleholder, made his 19th consecutive middleweight title defense as he pulled within one of tying the record of 20 set by all-time great Bernard Hopkins, who happens to be one of Alvarez’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions.

Golovkin, who yearned for years for a big-time fight, was aiming to prove that he was worthy of his undefeated record and tremendous acclaim by beating by far the best opponent of his career. He appeared to do that, but Byrd and Trella did not agree.

“It was a big drama show,” Golovkin said, using one of his favorite phrases. “[The scoring] is not my fault. I put pressure on him every round.”

Asked if he thought he won the fight, Golovkin said simply, “Look, I still have all the belts. I am still the champion.”

Bob Bennett, the executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, came to ringside after the fight to address the controversy of Byrd’s scorecard.

“Adalaide, in my estimation, is an outstanding judge,” Bennett said. “She’s done over 115 title fights and/or elimination bouts. She does a great deal of our training, takes a lot of our judges under her wing. I think being a judge is a very challenging position.

“Unfortunately, Adalaide was a little wide. I’m not making any excuses. I think she’s an outstanding judge, and in any business, sometimes you have a bad day. She saw the fight differently [than the other judges]. It happens.”

According to CompuBox punch statistics, Golovkin landed 218 of 703 shots (31 percent), while Alvarez landed 169 of 505 (34 percent). Golovkin landed more punches in 10 of the 12 rounds.

Alvarez said he believed he deserved to win the fight, which matched two of the world’s elite pound-for-pound fighters.

“There wasn’t any power that surprised me,” Alvarez said. “In the first rounds, I came out to see what he had. Then I was building from there. I think I won eight rounds. I felt that I won the fight.

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