(Reuters) – Gennady Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez fought to a controversial draw in their long-awaited middleweight world title bout in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Kazakh Golovkin and Mexican Alvarez each got the nod from one judge, while the third declared it a draw. Golovkin, who landed more punches overall, remains unbeaten over his career.
Golovkin started cautiously and then appeared to have the edge in the middle rounds, while Alvarez finished with a flurry as the pro-Alvarez capacity crowd cheered raucously at T-Mobile Arena.
Both boxers said they were keen to fight again.
“Yes, of course, if the people want it,” said Alvarez.
“Look at my belts. I‘m still the champion,” said Golovkin. “Of course I want a rematch.”
It was a close fight and while many experts gave Golovkin the edge, the scorecard of the judge that awarded it to Alvarez 118-110 immediately raised eyebrows.
Another judge scored it 115-113 to Golovkin, while the third had it a 114-114 draw. The result was roundly booed.
The two best middleweights and two of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport offered contrasting styles.
Although it was perhaps not the all-time classic that promoters had touted, as both fighters clearly respected their opponent too much to risk leaving themselves vulnerable to a knockout.
Golovkin occupied the center of the ring mostly, while Alvarez was more comfortable near the ropes, content for the most part to counterpunch.
California-based Golovkin, widely known by his nickname ‘GGG’, had an edge in jabs, but neither fighter came close to delivering a knockout.
The result leaves Golovkin with a 37-0-1 career record, while Alvarez is 49-1-2, his only loss coming against Floyd Mayweather in 2013.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Sudipto Ganguly