When taking a look at the resume of some of the greatest professional boxers of all-time, they all usually have had at least one rival who pushed them to their limit. At times, they even beat them on their roads to greatness and immortality. For Muhammad Ali there was Joe Frazier, for Sugar Ray Leonard there was Roberto Durán, for Manny Pacquiao there was Juan Manuel Marquez. The list goes on and on. So when Canelo Alvarez was set to face Genadiy Golovkin for the third time on Saturday Sep. 17 in Las Vegas, it didn’t just signal a huge payday for the third installment of their trilogy of fights. It provided Alvarez with a chance to finally get a clear and decisive victory over an opponent who has given him two of the hardest fights of his career and is also headed to the Hall of Fame.
In the previous two matchups, the two fighters finished with a tie due to a split decision, followed by an Alvarez win in the rematch due to majority decision. With their last fight coming in 2018, and Alvarez having moved up two weight classes to super middleweight and light heavyweight in the time since, it was fair to assume whether he had a built in advantage this time around over Golovkin due to being the naturally bigger fighter. He insisted that wouldn’t be the case.
“He’s a strong fighter too, maybe more than other fighters that I have fought that are bigger than him,” Alvarez told Complex. “So, you know, I have prepare myself for the best Golovkin.”
While he might have prepared for the best version of Golovkin, there was no denying that this was the worst version of the fighter that Alvarez has seen to date, with Golovkin looking every bit of 40 years-old in the fight. Alvarez was a step quicker, landed more impactful blows, and methodically picked Golovkin apart on the way to a unanimous decision to take two of the three fights in this series and close the book on one of the premier rivalries of this era of boxing. Making the win more impressive was the fact he revealed he won despite having a TFCC tear in his left wrist, an injury he has apparently dealt with since his fight with Caleb Plant in November of last year.
Despite the injury, Alvarez looked sharp and clean against Golovkin, bouncing back from his May loss to Dmitry Bivol, now setting the stage for him to have his pick of fighters to choose from when he returns to the ring at some point next year. Immediately after his win against Golovkin, he was asked about a potential bout with David Benavidez, a rising star in the super middleweight division, though Alvarez doesn’t quite seem impressed enough with the 25 year-olds resume.
“What has he accomplished? One single title,” Alvarez said in his post-fight press conference on Saturday evening.
Regardless of whether it’s Benavidez, Jermall Charlo, the reigning WBC middleweight champion, a rematch against Bivol or somebody else who might not necessarily be on the radar, Alvarez is ready and willing to fight whoever, whenever and wherever.
“The big challenges for me out there, I’m going to take them all,” Alvarez said.
He has done just that to this point in his career. He’s won titles across the light middleweight, middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight divisions over the last decade. If the past is any indicator of the future when it comes to Alvarez, there is no reason to believe that will change now.