Mexico's Saul "Canelo" Alvarez ended Gennady Golovkin's unbeaten reign as unified middleweight champion here Saturday, battling to victory by majority decision in a pulsating rematch.
Alvarez showed skill and durability to outlast Golovkin in another attritional contest between the two evenly-matched rivals at the T-Mobile Arena, one year after they had fought to a controversial draw at the same venue.
Alvarez inflicted the first defeat of Kazakh slugger Golovkin's career after two judges scored it 115-113 in his favour, with another judge scoring it even at 114-114.
"I am a great fighter, and I showed it tonight," said Alvarez, roared on by a partisan crowd throughout on the eve of Mexico's Independence Day celebrations.
"If the people want another round, I'll do it again," added the 28-year-old, who improves to 50-1-2. "I feel satisfied because I gave a great fight. It was a clear victory."
Golovkin, who fell to 38-1-1 after the loss, left the ring immediately to get eight stitches to a cut above his right eye.
Both fighters fought cagily from the outset, reluctant to trade heavy blows.
Golovkin appeared to edge clear in the early rounds, working well behind his stiff left jab, but Alvarez remained unruffled.
The Mexican, who had been accused of "running" in the first fight, came forward relentlessly and dominated the mid part of the fight.
On all three judges cards Alvarez dominated the middle rounds from the fifth through to the eighth, building a handy lead to defend in the closing stages.
Golovkin attempted to rally, rocking Alvarez with a stinging right hand in the 10th before pinning him on the ropes with a flurry of hooks.
But Golovkin was never able to press home his advantage, and each time Alvarez was able to evade the looming danger to slide away and respond with blows of his own.
With Golovkin needing a big finish in the 12th, Alvarez again proved up to the challenge, shrugging off an early uppercut to hold on for the win.
Although statistics afterwards showed Golovkin had thrown more punches, it was Alvarez who landed more consistently, outscoring his rival 143-116 in power punches.