By Steve Kim Updated on September 19, 2022

The Final Lackluster Chapter

Picture for The Final Lackluster Chapter

Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin squared off for the third and final time on Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. After 12 rather tepid rounds, it was Alvarez retaining his super middleweight championship by the scores of 116-112 and 115-113 twice.

For much of this bout, it felt like a world-class sparring session. It was tactical and tense, with many rounds not having much sustained action. It was the younger, fresher Alvarez having the advantage for much of the fight, until Golovkin had some moments in the late rounds.

“This fight is so smart. More tactical, like chess," said Golovkin in describing what had just taken place. But the reality is that people came expecting to see blood-and-guts not Garry Kasparov versus Anatoly Karpov.

Picture for The Final Lackluster ChapterEd Mulholland, Matchroom Sports

Where as Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier had the 'Thrilla in Manila', or the memorable ending in the fourth and final bout between Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao, there was no such final crescendo. This more or less ended with a whimper more than a bang. 

This was still an important chapter of boxing history but in all honesty, this was a far cry from their first 24 rounds that took place in 2017 and 2018.

Picture for The Final Lackluster ChapterDe La Hoya tweet

Alvarez, who is one of the most defensively sound boxers around with his clever upper body movement, kept 'GGG' at bay much of the night. Golovkin, now 40, is certainly a faded fighter and no longer one of the most ferocious offensive machines in the sport. While he still may possess heavy hands, it was clear this weekend that he simply could not pull the trigger with the quickness, or frequency needed.

Truth be told, while Alvarez was in control, he himself looked a bit dull. While controlling the majority of the rounds, he missed a multitude of punches. Could it be at age 32 and 64 fights under his belt (58-2-2, 39 KOs) that we are now seeing a boxer on his descent?

The Mexican star said afterwards, "(Golovkin) is a tough fighter. I need surgery, my left hand is not good. But I’m good, I’m a warrior, that’s why I’m here. I can’t hold a glass. It’s really bad. But I’m a warrior.” Alvarez, who has been among the most active world champions in the sport, mentioned the need to recharge his battery. 

Now the question is: when he returns, what is next? Does he avenge his May loss to WBA light heavyweight champion, Dmitry Bivol, or perhaps continue to clean up the super middleweight division. Bivol has an appointment with Gilberto 'Zurdo' Ramirez on November 5. Should he retain his title, Alvarez made it clear that evening up the score would be a top priority for him.

Picture for The Final Lackluster ChapterEd Mulholland, Matchroom Sports

“Yes. It’d very important for my legacy. For my pride. For my country. For my family. For everything. It’s very important. I will beat him," he promised. 

As for Golovkin, it's not clear what his future holds. In a perfect world, this would be his last outing, walking away on his feet and with tens of millions added to his coffers. But it's clear that he will continue on with his career.

"Absolutely," he stated. "I have a great plan. I have a lot of appointments. Congrats today Canelo, congrats fans. Remember, I’m still champion at 160. I come back guys, I’m still champion."

It has to be said, while chapter three was lackluster, this was still an important piece of boxing lore. As I alluded to last week, it may be awhile before we see another rivalry of this nature in the sport.

Over 36 rounds these two got to know each other very well. They started off as respectful combatants, to mortal enemies, and now, partners in history.  That wasn't lost on either of them.

Picture for The Final Lackluster ChapterEd Mulholland, Matchroom Sports

“Thank you so much my friend, thank you Golovkin, thank you for everything. We gave the fans three good fights. Thank you for everything," said Alvarez. 

As they shook hands, it was clear the mutual admiration that existed between them. Hey, it was never personal, just business. Now, whatever issues they had before are now a thing of the past. 

“Yes. 100%," confirmed Golovkin.



'Bam' Rodriguez went 12 hard rounds in against the very tough Israel Gonzalez, to retain his WBC 115-pound title....Ali Akhmedov won a 10 round decision versus Gabe Rosado on this undercard....Right now, it's Georgia and everyone else in college football...How 'bout Tua and the Phins?....I can be reached at

About Author
The Final Lackluster Chapter
  • Hosted 'the Main Event' on KIEV 870, and then later XTRA AM1150 ( a three hour show devoted to boxing) from 1996 to 1999.
  • Joined one of the first boxing websites, 'House of Boxing' in 1999, and then later became one of the founders of Maxboxing, that started in 2001, till his departure in 2014.
  • From 2014 to 2018, he was the lead columnist for
  • Was a boxing reporter for from 2018 to 2020.
  • He has written for Ring Magazine, International Boxing Digest and Boxing News.
  • Is the co-host of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez, which has become of the most popular boxing podcasts the past several years.
  • Steve has also served as an announcer and analyst for RingTV, Thompson Boxing, 360 Promotions and CBS Sports Network.