Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin: A Look Back at the Epic Middleweight Rivalry

Published 02/28/2021, 9:55 AM EST
LAS VEGAS, NV – SEPTEMBER 15: Gennady Golovkin punches Canelo Alvarez during their WBC/WBA middleweight title fight at T-Mobile Arena on September 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)


Boxing saw one of its biggest collisions when Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin locked horns against each other in back-to-back bouts with multiple world titles at stake. Being two of the best pugilists of this era, Alvarez and Golovkin poured everything they had into the rivalry.

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While fans often complain about boxers ducking their best competitors, Alvarez and ‘GGG’ gave us fights that would be cherishable for several years to come. Although Canelo Alvarez departed with the last laugh after two battles, Gennady Golovkin also earned fame by putting on a clinical display.

They have walked separate roads after the fight, but boxing fans continue to talk about their rivalry. Here’s a look back at it.

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The story began with Canelo Alvarez’s win against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., which Gennady Golovkin saw live from the arena. Post-fight, Alvarez called him out, and the two had an intense exchange of words inside the ring.

Golovkin appeared humble and billed Alvarez as his toughest adversary and wished him luck. However, Alvarez, fresh from his sensational win, didn’t appear respectful towards his Kazakh opponent. But ‘GGG’ earned Canelo Alvarez’s respect inside the ring.

Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin- 1

The original fight had the WBC, WBA (super), IBF, and IBO middleweight titles on the line and both the boxers went to the distance against each other. They had their significant moments, but GGG gave Alvarez a taste of his Kazakh power.

After Floyd Mayweather, Golovkin appeared to be the second man to bring problems for the Mexican superstar. But Canelo bounced back and returned the favor by landing his best shots at ‘GGG’. It was an absolute slug-fest and a close call, with both boxers standing tall till the final bell.

While fans had already billed their favorites to win the fight, it was ruled as a draw. Three judges scored the contest as-  110 (GGG)- 118 (Alvarez), 115 (GGG)- 113 (Alvarez), and 114 (GGG)- 1154 (Alvarez), paving the way for another clash in the future.

Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin-2

In their second fight, Alvarez entered the ring against Golovkin without facing anyone else, but Golovkin had beaten Vanes Martirosyan in between. But that didn’t help the Kazakh star against his Mexican adversary.

In the rematch, Alvarez outpointed Golovkin and didn’t let him deal much damage. Although GGG tried to do his best to beat Alvarez, it didn’t turn out to be fruitful. They both went the distance once again, and this time, Canelo Alvarez had plenty of significant moments to grab the win.

Three judges scored the contest 114-114, 115-113, and 115- 113 in favor of the P4P king in GGG’s maiden and only defeat of the professional career. But that still didn’t end the rivalry between them.

Alvarez and Golovkin have teased their third fight multiple times, with GGG promising to change the outcome and Canelo vowing to knock out Golovkin. However, Alvarez has shifted to the super middleweight division and Golovkin still resides at middleweight.

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LAS VEGAS, NV – SEPTEMBER 15: Gennady Golovkin punches Canelo Alvarez during their WBC/WBA middleweight title fight at T-Mobile Arena on September 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

So, it’s bizarre to expect them to lock horns anytime soon. ‘GGG’ might not have many fights left in his career and considering Alvarez’s dominance at 168, we may miss out on the trilogy. But many boxing fans would love to see them clash again.

Do you think GGG can avenge his loss against the P4P king?

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Raj Sarkar

1527 articles

A senior boxing writer at EssentiallySports, Raj Sarkar is a mass media graduate who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in broadcast journalism. In addition to his current role, he has worked with the MMA team at EssentiallySports and has interviewed prominent fighters such as Ritu Phogat and 'The Red King' Rory MacDonald. He combined his bachelor's degree with his adoration for combat sports and has a combined 2000 plus bylines in MMA and boxing over the last two years.

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