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Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez brought the heat in a hard-fought draw

Gennady Golovkin v Canelo Alvarez - Weigh-in Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez clashed tonight in the long-anticipated boxing match for the WBO middleweight championship, held by GGG inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Canelo was the defending Ring “Middleweight” champion, while Golovkin was the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBC, and basically every other Middleweight champion, Middleweight in boxing being 160 pounds. (There was another middleweight title fight tonight, but you can go ahead and forget about that one)

Golovkin came out in round one stalking forward cautiously, landing a jab. Canelo threw a counter jab and rolled back to avoid a one-two. He landed a right hand of his own to the body. Canelo slipped a right hand and countered to the body. GGG threw a right hook, ate a jab, then slipped a combination. Canelo slipped another right hand. Canelo connected on a combination. Golovkin landed a jab, and slipped a combination. Canelo’s hand speed seemed faster throughout the first round. The bell rang and GGG turned away with pursed lips, as if mentally waving off the round.

Canelo came out circling again, with GGG stalking and jabbing. Canelo threw a left hook, then moved forward into a right hand. They tied up. Canelo threw a combination that backed GGG up. They traded jabs, and Canelo landed to the body. Canelo tried to time a right hand over GGG’s jab. GGG landed a jab and slipped the counter. Canelo landed a left hook to the body, then to the head. GGG landed an uppercut. GGG shelled up as Canelo stepped in. They were standing in the center of the ring. GGG looked a little lost in the center, coming up well short on half-power shots. Canelo countered GGG stepping in with a body hook as the round ended.

They traded jabs again, and GGG opened up with combination, looking to become more aggressive at the start of round 3. Canelo was countering with hooks to the body. Canelo was going to the body far more than GGG. Canelo threw a jab, then a left hook. GGG landed a left hook, and ate a right uppercut shortly after. They clinched. Canelo dropped his hands briefly on the ropes, tempting GGG to come in. GGG landed a couple shots, closing out the round with more confidence.

The fourth round opened with GGG closing in on Canelo, landing a straight-hook combination. GGG shrugged at a Canelo combination and they stayed in the pocket. Canelo slipped two punches. He stepped forward with a rear overhand and GGG leaned away. GGG got Canelo stationary on the ropes and seemed hesitant. Canelo waved him on. GGG pawed with a jab and missed on a hook. Canelo got back to the center. They traded shots, and GGG landed a right hand over Canelo’s jab.

GGG ducked and waded inside, landing an overhand. Canelo looked for a left hook that missed. GGG got Canelo to the ropes and threw combinations, Canelo slipping and defending. He opened up with a wide combination. They clinched. GGG was throwing short uppercuts and hooks. Canelo just whiffed on a huge overhand. GGG’s jab stayed busy. He handed a hard right hand, his best of the fight so far, and Canelo shook his head. GGG had Canelo stationary on the ropes and Canelo was just shaking his head. GGG smiled and went to work. Canelo came back with a hard combination. GGG hasn’t gone to the body much at all. That was a great round. In between rounds, Canelo’s trainers told him not to stay on the ropes against Golovkin.

They were opening up and trading power, and GGG landed a heavy right hand. Canelo was throwing hard shots and GGG landed another right. Canelo was landing to the body. He hit GGG with a jab, then a right-left combination. Canelo stepped away from a right straight. He got GGG in a headlock and whipped his other hand behind his head for a cheeky punch behind the back. GGG got him to the ropes again and threw body hooks for the first time. Canelo landed a hard one-two. They were exchanging in layers, GGG staying on the front foot and keeping Canelo moving laterally on the outside. This was a cracking round.

GGG was landing the jab consistently as Canelo looked for his opportunity to stop in and counter. Canelo landed a nice hook. GGG stepped in with a hard right. Canelo slipped a jab. GGG stalked Canelo, and Canelo landed a hard left hook in an extended exchange. In the corner, GGG landed a short uppercut. Canelo ate a jab but paused GGG’s momentum with a gorgeous uppercut. Gennady nodded confidently when walking back to his corner.

Golovkin ate a right hand and responded with an aggressive combination. He landed short hooks to the head in close. Canelo landed a hard right. He doubled up on vicious body hooks. Golovkin landed a tricky right hand. Canelo landed a body hook. GGG landed a right hand off the gloves, jabbed twice, ate one in return. Canelo moved sideways, slipped a big right hand. Golovkin ate a hard uppercut and kept moving forward. Canelo jabbed and slipped the return combination. A right hand glanced off. GGG was chasing him down now, finally landed a right hand to the body. GGG controlled the ring very well in this round.

Canelo opened up with a combination, but then ate a hard uppercut and right hand that backed him up to the ropes. They were head to head as GGG looked for the kill shots. Canelo threw a hard left hook. GGG ate an enormous right hand by Canelo. GGG jabbed, looking for a right hand, shook his head at Canelo’s right hand. GGG unloaded with CAnelo on the ropes, but Canelo made a point of shaking his head to say he was still there. He dug to the body of Golovkin. Canelo landed a short combination. GGG chased him with a combination, then jabbed him a couple times as the round wound down.

They exchanged in layers, Canelo landing a hard combination puncuated with a a nice body hook. GGG looked hurt. He got in close as they both attempted hard hooks. GGG landed a right hand. GGG kept the jab in CAnelo’s face, then landed a combination. GGG had Canelo in the corner so soon after that rally. Golovkin landed a left hook, the Canelo hit him with a right hand. Golovkin went to work with a combination. They tied up briefly in wild brawling exchanges. This is what everyone came to see.

Canelo landed a right hand as Gennady stalked forward. Golovkin landed a body shot and Canelo complained it was low. They traded jabs. Both fighters were on fast twitch reflex mode, reacting to anything. Canelo ate a right hand but landed to the body. Canelo landed a right hand, then a combination. GGG stalked forward, landing a right hand. GGG landed a right hand over the top. Canelo hit an uppercut. They traded hard hooks.

Final round, they touched gloves. CAnelo threw a right hand, opened up with a five-punch combination. Canelo hit a nice uppercut. He landed six punches in a row on a static Golovkin. GGG finally opened up, pushing Canelo back and they clinched, twice. Canelo slipped a right hand. GGG landed a right hand moving forward. Canelo sidestepped another right hand. They clinched again. They exchanged in layers. Canelo was getting off more shots, including some nice uppercuts. Golovkin went all in and they slugged back and forth, Canelo finally stepping aside to let GGG chase as the fight ended. What a battle. That was everything top-level boxing should be.

The scorecards are read, and it is a draw! Golovkin smiles; Canelo shakes his head. He seems unhappy. What this means? Rematch, of course.

GGG says he likes Mexicans, and he wants a “true fight”. He wants a “big drama show”, and says he didn’t get it. He thanks his Kazakhstan fans. Canelo said he didn’t really feel Golovkin’s power in any way that surprised him. He said he won seven or eight rounds easily. He disagrees with Max Kellerman that he was down and insists that he won seven or eight rounds. Golovkin smiled at that and said “look at my belts. I am still champion. I didn’t lose.” Canelo said he of course wants a rematch if the people want it. Golovkin said he wants a rematch and said he wants a “true fight.” They embrace

Official scorecards: 118-110 Canelo, 115-113 Golovkin, 114-114 for a split draw

For complete Golovkin-Alvarez updates, including play-by-play results, click here

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