LAS VEGAS — Undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez faces Gennadiy Golovkin for the third time in a winner-take-all bout at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday (DAZN PPV).
Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs), 32, defeated Golovkin by majority decision in September 2018 in a rematch of a controversial split draw the year before. Golovkin has been waiting for the trilogy bout for four years and with a win, finally can erase all the doubts, as can Alvarez.
Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs), 40, is the unified middleweight champion and is moving up in weight for this fight. Alvarez unified the 168-pound division with victories over Callum Smith, Billy Joe Saunders and Caleb Plant.
Follow along as Mike Coppinger and Ben Baby recap the fights from ringside.
Fight in progress: Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennadiy Golovkin, 12 rounds, for Alvarez’s WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF super middleweight titles
Round 3: In progress.
Round 2: Alvarez scored with a right hand to the liver followed by a left hook to the body. He later connected with a powerful overhand right. GGG has been patient thus far — he’s always been a slow starter. 10-9, Alvarez. 20-18, Alvarez.
Round 1: They’ve competed 24 rounds against each other, but it’s been four years since they last faced each other, so it was a slow opening round. GGG established the jab early on while Canelo swung wildly and did connect with one sharp, compact left hook. 10-9, Alvarez.
Ring announcer David Diamante is making the fighter’s introductions, first GGG, then Canelo. The fight is next.
GGG had to wait 6 minutes inside the ring before Canelo get there. He was relaxed.
GGG is in the ring, Canelo is making his way out. Mexican singer Alejandro Fernandez is leading him singing “Mexico Lindo y Querido.” The scene inside the T-Mobile is incredible.
“Bam” Rodriguez retains title in decision win
A showcase bout turned into a pretty tough test for one of boxing’s hottest names. Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez, the WBC junior bantamweight champion, topped Israel Gonzalez in a unanimous decision, 118-109, 117-110, 114-113, in the co-main event.
Rodriguez didn’t get the stoppage that could have accelerated his stock and admitted afterwards that it was a tougher fight that he expected. But the 23-year-old strengthened his case to be the 2022 fighter of the year.
While the crowd filled into their seats at T-Mobile Arena, Rodriguez displayed the dominance that has permeated the last few months.
Early in the fight, it didn’t really matter where the action occurred. In the middle of the ring, on the ropes, at distance, in close quarters — Rodriguez (17-0, 11 KOs) landed. The only major slipup came in the eighth round, when referee Kenny Bayless docked Rodriguez a point for a low blow that left Gonzalez kneeling for several minutes.
The champion from San Antonio did a lot of damage with the power left hand out of his southpaw stance. He also popped Gonzalez (28-5-1, 11 KOs) with a few uppercuts. The challenger from Baja California Sur, Mexico, was active and gave one of boxing’s rising champions a good test.
But it was to no avail. Rodriguez landed the harder shots and dictated the terms of engagement. Rodriguez faded a bit toward the final rounds as he tried to put his opponent away. But the veteran who lost a unanimous decision to Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez scrapped his way to the final bell.
Earlier in the year, Rodriguez fought Carlos Cuadras on less than a week’s notice to win the 118-pound championship. Then he followed it up with a knockout win over Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
Saturday’s effort wasn’t the Texan’s best performance of the year, but he still showed plenty flashes of dominance that he’s only getting started.
Akhmedov wins every round against Rosado
As always, Gabriel Rosado was a stubborn and tough opponent. But Ali Akhmedov had patience and perseverance against one of boxing’s most rugged veterans. Akhmedov didn’t drop a single round on all three scorecards and won a unanimous decision, 100-91.
The Kazakhstan fans settled into their seats, several of them waving the country’s blue and yellow flag, cheering on their fellow countryman as Akhmedov (19-1, 14 KOs) connected often at distance. Rosado (26-16-1, 15 KOs), a Philadelphia native who now lives in Puerto Rico, struggled early but seemed to find his bearings in the later rounds. He was successful in the ninth and 10th rounds and even forced Akhmedov to retreat at times.
However, it wasn’t enough to move the judges to score any round for him. Akhmedov won his third straight bout.
Williams scores unanimous-decision win
It wasn’t always pretty, but Austin “Ammo” Williams got the job done.
The Houston native scored a unanimous decision over Kieron Conway in the first fight on the pay-per-view portion of tonight’s card, 96-93, 97-92, 97-92.
It was a fight that was more fascinating than interesting. Conway was throwing scoring shots and had Williams fighting tentatively early throughout the fight. In the sixth round, Conway landed a right hand that momentarily stunned Williams (12-0, 9 KOs).
But everything flipped in the ninth round. Williams caught Conway (18-3-1, 4 KOs) with a lead right hand that caused Conway to buckle near the ropes and eventually scored a knockdown. — Baby
Pacheco scores another TKO win to stay unbeaten
The plan for Diego Pacheco worked.
Anyone who could read a betting sheet knew the objective of his match against Enrique Collazo. Pacheco, a dumbfounding favorite (-3000), was expected to finish Collazo quickly to interject some buzz into his career.
Pacheco did his part. The Los Angeles native put Collazo (16-3-1, 11 KOs) down in the fifth round. When Collazo got back to his feet, Pacheco quickly swarmed his Puerto Rican opponent and forced a stoppage.
While the fifth round was entertaining, it’s still unclear just how good Pacheco (16-0, 13 KOs) can be. Better competition could indicate where Pacheco’s ceiling may be. — Baby
Top prospect Castro stops Montiel in Round 5
Lightweight prospect Marc Castro picked up a stunning knockout on a punch that Kevin Montiel never saw coming.
In the fifth round of a fight Castro had dominated, he unleashed a massive right uppercut that flattened Montiel and prompted referee Tony Weeks to immediately stop the bout. Montiel (6-1, 3 KOs) was on his back for around two minutes before he eventually sat up and received a round of applause from the crowd inside the arena.
Castro (8-0, 6 KOs) picked up his first stoppage in his last three fights, with all of those bouts occurring this year. The Fresno, California, native has been consistently featured on Alvarez’s undercards, which shows just how much promoter Matchroom thinks of Castro. — Baby