World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman was ringside earlier this month, to watch Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez retain his undisputed super middleweight crown with a dominant twelve round unanimous decision in his rematch with Gennadiy Golovkin.
Their first two fights, which took places at middleweight in 2017 and 2018, were entertaining and there were conflicting opinions over which boxer deserved to win both bouts.
The third encounter was a far cry from the first two. Golovkin started very slow and didn't let his hands go until the final few rounds of the fight.
Canelo was more composed in the trilogy bout. There was no urgency to take chances, so the strategy applied was to outbox Golovkin in every round.
Sulaiman understands the widespread disappointment over the lack of fireworks - but blames the bulk of the post-fight outrage on the showdown being heavily promoted as a can't miss war that would likely end in a knockout. He also says Golovkin did not force the action for much of the fight, which generated a 'boxing match' instead of an action-fight.
"Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez won the third fight against Gennady Golovkin by a clear unanimous decision, and in general, he completely dominated the Kazakh. GGG actually did very little in the first seven or eight rounds. Canelo completely dominated him and won all those rounds, hands down. Álvarez did what was necessary to win, just as Tom Brady did not take any unnecessary risk, because his strategy worked and nullified GGG. As simple as that, it was a much more technical and tactical fight than the other two," Sulaiman said.
"The problem is that the promotion sold a war to the public, an emotional fight in which both would go out to beat each other mercilessly. Canelo repeatedly said that he was going to knock him out and retire him; GGG goaded the Mexican on multiple occasions. As they had already fought 24 very good rounds with excellent action, we all hoped that his words would come true and that a boxing war would be seen.
"Boxing is about styles and strategy. Golovkin did not force the action for many rounds of the fight, and that is why the fight took that course. GGG closed strong, attacked and was successful against a Canelo who looked tired, cut on one eyebrow by an accidental head butt, and also with an injured wrist that will require surgery. The end came, and Canelo closed this chapter with a clear and forceful victory after a technical fight, not an emotional one."