By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Bernard Hopkins is impressed with how Canelo Alvarez dealt with a powerful opponent plenty of fans and media expected to knock him out.
The former undisputed middleweight and light heavyweight champion is convinced Alvarez did enough to beat Gennady Golovkin in their 12-round middleweight title fight Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena. Only one judge – heavily criticized Adalaide Byrd – thought Alvarez won, and she erroneously scored it 118-110 for the Mexican superstar.
“Canelo handled ‘The Grim Reaper’ very well,” Hopkins said during the post-fight press conference. “And when it happens again, it will be much easier [for Canelo]. But that’s another story.”
Hopkins, a partner in Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, implored fans and media to remember what was good about Alvarez-Golovkin, not just Byrd’s scorecard and that the HBO Pay-Per-View main event ended in a draw.
“I think that, as Oscar said and [Golden Boy president] Eric [Gomez] said, this fight,” Hopkins said, “the middleweight division, one of the reasons I’ve got a tuxedo on is because I know how significant this is in history and the history of the middleweight division that I was part of for 12 years. So I seen an excellent fight tonight. I seen a fight with two guys wanting to be the best and undisputed and represent [the middleweight division] moving forward.
“And, you know, we’ve just gotta get over with whatever the controversy is or whatever the disagreement is. But at the end of the day, no one that will leave this building will have the right to say that they didn’t enjoy the fight itself. Take everything else to the side. We can deal with that one way or the other. But the fight itself wasn’t a failure.”
By retaining his four 160-pound championships, the 35-year-old Golovkin made the 19th consecutive defense of the WBA middleweight title he won seven years ago. The Kazakhstan native needs just one more defense to tie Hopkins’ middleweight record of 20 straight defenses (1996-2005).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.