Though Golovkin has a reputation as a knockout artist, he never seemed to hurt Alvarez, who credited his fight plan with the win.
Canelo Alvarez won the middleweight title by the narrowest of margins Saturday night, taking a majority decision over Gennady Golovkin to hand the longtime champion his first loss as a pro. Called a diva and a heel by many in recent months, Alvarez very much acted the part of a must-see performer as the biggest pay-per-view draw in American boxing.
It was a raucous sellout crowd inside T-Mobile Arena, the assembled masses holding their collective breath at times as the fighters exchanged blow after blow.
Two judges scored it 115-113 for Alvarez, with the third judge scoring it 114-114. Scores were 114-114, 115-113, 115-113 for Canelo.
Victory was sweet for Alvarez, who had been accused of "running" during last year's first encounter by Golovkin's camp.
Atlas added that he felt Golovkin was controlling the fight and deserved to win.
Unfortunately tonight's rematch didn't deliver a decisive victor, but it did give fight fans one of the greatest boxing matches in the history of the sport.
But Alvarez - who sustained a cut above his left eye which worsened as the bout developed - began to close distance in order to nullify Golovkin's jab. "I think we controlled the fight". But for right now, I will enjoy time with my family.
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"Canelo did what he said he was going to do", Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler said. "I thought I fought better than he did".
"I showed my victory with facts", the native of Guadalajara through an interpreter.
"Because, even though he's a power-punching machine, he's also a very clever and intelligent fighter". He was the one who was backing up.
Fingers crossed a third fight comes to fruition for the pair in May 2019. "It was a clear victory".
And asked on whether or not there will be a rematch, he said: "If the people want another fight then we'll do it again. He fought a great fight".
Perhaps Alvarez's best trick in the rematch came in the second half of the fight when he absorbed a number of clean strikes from Golovkin that have previously removed the ghost from a series of opponents before him, including an incredible 23-fight knockout streak between 2008-17.