LAS VEGAS – Gennadiy Golovkin didn’t dispute his unanimous-decision defeat to Canelo Alvarez.
Unlike the results of their two 12-round middleweight title fights, Golovkin seemed more accepting of Alvarez’s victory in their third fight Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena. The Kazakhstan native did state during his post-fight press conference, however, that he did enough to beat Alvarez in their 12-round, 168-pound championship match.
“I don’t feel that I lost the fight,” Golovkin said, according to his translator. “I don’t think about the loss. It’s not something that like is on my mind right now because it was a great fight and it was a very clean fight, as you noticed. And we did not allow any mistakes. And the fight was very competitive. And especially in the second half, I felt that I was better than my opponent.”
The 40-year-old Golovkin got off to an extremely slow start versus Alvarez, but he had success in the ninth, 10th and 11th rounds.
In complete contrast to their first two meetings, all three judges – Dave Moretti (116-112), David Sutherland (115-113) and Steve Weisfeld (115-113) – gave Golovkin more rounds than he appeared to win. Had Sutherland and Weisfeld scored one more round apiece for Golovkin, a fight Alvarez appeared to decisively win would’ve resulted in a majority draw.
“It’s not up to me to talk about scoring,” Golovkin said. “I just did my job and the judges came up with those scores. That’s their decision.”
Golovkin believes he won their first two fights.
Their initial meeting resulted in a controversial split draw five years ago. Judge Adalaide Byrd infamously scored what was a very competitive 12-rounder 118-110 for Alvarez, who won 10 rounds on her card in September 2017.
Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs) won their 12-round rematch by majority decision a year later. Despite the closeness on the cards Saturday night, Alvarez’s victory was clearer in their third fight than his win in their rematch.
Though Golovkin (42-2-1, 37 KOs) looked less effective Saturday night than during their first 24 rounds of action, he didn’t sense much of a difference in the 32-year-old Alvarez, who won world titles in two higher weight classes after their rematch.
“I don’t want to belittle his victory, but at the same time, I did not feel that he was any faster or stronger,” Golovkin said. “The shots that [landed] were not strong enough. And in the second half, he even lost in speed and power. And I think that even in the beginning, we did not fight much, both of us. You can see the number of shots thrown were less in the second half. But again, I would say no surprises for me at all.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.