The long-anticipated middleweight title fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin ended with a split-decision draw Saturday night. As defending champion, Golovkin retains his WBA, WBC and IBF championships.
Two of the judges had the bout scored closely: Dave Moretti favored Golovkin 115-113, and Don Trella had a 114-114 draw. Adalaide Byrd scored the fight 118-110 in favor of Alvarez.
Golovkin’s record is 37-0-1 (33 knockouts). In world title fights, he is 18-0-1 (17 KO), including 5-0-1 against current or former world titlists.
Alvarez’s mark is 49-1-2 (34 KOs), and he has an eight-fight unbeaten streak since his loss to Floyd Mayweather in September 2013. Among his past eight opponents, Alvarez has faced six current or former world champions.
This was Golovkin’s second consecutive fight that went 12 rounds. Those are the only 12-round fights he has had. Dating to 2008, before his fight against Daniel Jacobs in March, Golovkin stopped 21 of his 23 opponents before the 10th round.
CompuBox statistics showed that Golovkin landed more punches than Alvarez in 10 of 12 rounds. Alvarez outlanded Golovkin 14-12 in the second round, and they each landed 23 punches in the 12th.
Alvarez entered the fight landing 46 percent of his power punches, per CompuBox, and that figure was 42 percent on Saturday.
Golovkin was much more effective with jabs than his opponent. Golovkin landed 108 of 361 thrown (30 percent) compared to 55 of 233 (24 percent) by Alvarez.
But Golovkin didn’t live up to his previous punching prowess. He landed 31 percent of all of his punches, compared to 40 percent entering the fight.
The primary target for Golovkin was Alvarez’s head. Of his 218 punches landed, 210 (96 percent) were to Alvarez’s head. Alvarez put 74 percent of his landed punches to Golovkin’s head (127 of 171).
The fight was Golovkin’s 19th consecutive middleweight title defense, dating to when he won the WBA middleweight title in 2010. In the middleweight division, only Bernard Hopkins has more consecutive title defenses, with 20 from 1995 to 2005.
Alvarez entered the fight as an underdog (plus-150) for the second time in his past 20 fights. The other time was in 2013, when he was a plus-235 underdog against Mayweather. Golovkin was a minus-180 favorite Saturday.