The Mexican icon defeated GGG via a clear cut unanimous decision in Las Vegas
Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez had the last laugh in his rivalry with Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin as he defeated the Kazakh over 12 rounds in Las Vegas on Saturday night to retain his undisputed super-middleweight crown.
Alvarez came into the fight on the back of just the second defeat of his 61-fight career when he was outpointed by Russia's Dmitry Bivol in May. While that loss, which took place at light heavyweight, was understandable given the ambition he displayed in moving up several weight divisions, a loss to his old rival Golovkin at his more regular middleweight hunting ground would have represented a sizable blow to the Mexican icon's legacy.
But such fears proved to be entirely unfounded.
Canelo started by far the stronger of the two as he looked to improve upon the majority decision win he scored in their second fight in September 2018; a fight which came a year after the pair's draw in the first encounter.
By the midway point of the fight, Canelo had established a substantial lead on the scorecards against a surprisingly gun-shy Golovkin, who pursued a conservative strategy in an apparent bid to outbox the Mexican magician.
Canelo, though, was too wily a foe and was able to stay a half-beat ahead throughout the majority of the exchanges. By the time Golovkin opted to turn up the temperature in the ninth round, however, the damage had been done and left him in search of an unlikely knockout against one of the finest defensive practitioners of his, or any other, generation.
When all was said and done, Canelo had out-punched Golovkin by 130 to 120, but had also established a wide disparity in power punches (85 to 46) to leave little doubt as to the identity of the victor.
The judges agreed when the scorecards were read aloud: 116-112, 115-113, 115-113.
One of boxing's great trilogies ended with a 2-0-1 edge to Canelo. It was Golovkin's second-ever career defeat and his first since his loss to the same fighter in 2018.
"Thank you my friend, we gave the fans three great fights," Canelo said, addressing his opponent afterwards.
"I left everything in there. I need surgery on my hand, I'm not good in my left hand," he added, before teasing a rematch with Bivol down the line.
"Everybody knows [Bivol is who I want to fight next]. We'll see what happens in that fight. But I need rest. It's very important for my legacy, for my pride, for my family and my country. I will beat him."
Golovkin, meanwhile, added his own measure of praise for an opponent to whom he will forever be inextricably linked.
"I want to shake hands with Canelo," the 40-year-old said. "Congrats to all his team. He's a real warrior - if you don't understand that, you don't understand nothing."