September 2016 to September 2022: The Canelo-Golovkin Rivalry – Who Really Won?

By James Slater - 09/17/2023 - Comments

Six years ago yesterday it began – the at times bitter rivalry between Saul Canelo Alvarez and Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin. With expectations massively high, the two middleweights collided in Las Vegas, with five belts being on the line. Canelo was felt to be at his peak or thereabouts, the 27 year old having got Golovkin at the right time, with GGG being 35.

Dubbed “Supremacy,” the fight would not end with either guy being able to lay claim to the title. Not officially, at least. 12 hard rounds followed, with Golovkin putting on relentless pressure, pressure that convinced most observers that the man from Kazakhstan had done enough. The fight was instead, as we all know, scored a draw, with both men keeping their respective belts.

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The decision was bad enough in the eyes of most, but judge Adalaide Byrd’s score card that had Canelo winning by a whopping, great 118-110 margin was universally slaughtered, the card deemed one of the worst in middleweight history, the crazy numbers being compared with those that judge Jo Jo Guerra handed in at the conclusion of the epic Sugar Ray Leonard-Marvelous Marvin Hagler fight, with Guerra having Leonard the winner by the same ludicrous, 118-110 margin.

And like the Leonard-Hagler fight, though not to the same extent, the controversy over the result of the first Canelo-GGG fight has never gone away, with fight fans everywhere still going back and forth about it. Some fans do side with the Mexican star, saying Canelo did enough to make the first fight close. While many other people say GGG was outright robbed on this day six years ago yesterday.

The return fight, from September 15 of 2018 WAS a close fight, but here too, a good many fans feel Golovkin did enough. Instead, Canelo walked away with a majority decision. The third fight, which took place a year ago today, was the only fight that didn’t result in any debate, with Canelo winning clearly, the ageing GGG too slow to be able to pull the trigger sufficiently. And so the two men ended their rivalry at 2-0-1 – two wins for Canelo, with one draw.

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But who was the better fighter overall during the course of those 36 rounds of action? In terms of number of rounds won on independent score cards, GGG was the overall winner, this at 19 rounds to 17 (GGG winning fight-one by a margin of nine rounds to three, GGG winning the rematch by a margin of seven rounds to five, and with Canelo winning the final fight by a margin of nine rounds to three. But, hey, that’s just one fan’s opinion.

Who do YOU guys think won the most rounds over the course of this particular three-fight rivalry?

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Last Updated on 09/17/2023