Middleweight classic was all it was hyped up to be

Forget the scoring controversy and just focus on the bout itself and one would agree that it was one of the most highly entertaining clash which will be ensconced in the ilk of middleweight classics of yesteryear.

FINAL COUNTDOWN: Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez both celebrate after the final round in their epic WBC, WBA and IBF middleweight championionship bout at T-Mobile Arena at the weekend in Las Vegas Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez waged a memorable war of attrition as they battled on even terms rendering a difference on opinions on the verdict.

The draw outcome was probably the best bar the absurd judge Adalaide Byrd’s scorecard.

Having picked GGG I thought the Kazaskhtani edged by two points but I am not mad if someone feels Canelo deserved the decision.

It was that kind of bout and boxing was the real winner. As we enter the second edition of Boxing Mecca Boxer of the Week, there is no one more deserving than these two.

BOXER OF THE WEEK

1. GENNADY GOLOVKIN and CANELO ALVAREZ

The duo made all sorts of promises on how they were going to beat each other with predictions of stoppages coming from both boxers. And did they try to back their predictions as they swapped punches throughout the fight. Both proved that they deserved to be called elite fighters and dare I say both proved themselves what they are made of.

Coming to the fight GGG had knocked out 34 of his 37 victims without a loss. Despite compiling a 23 successive knockouts before that run was snapped by Danny Jacobs, naysayers still refused to acknowledge his boxing prowess arguing that he beat nondescript opposition.

And the fact he hails from Eastern Europe did not help matters either.

Canelo also came to the fight being frowned upon having benefited from what was seen as favouritism by judges in his bouts against Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara.

Add the fact that he opted to dump his WBC title rather than face GGG, he was a victim of derision.

But boy did he dispel those notion of being a protected Golden Boy Promotions cash cow.

For their gutsy performance GGG and Canelo win our BOXER OF THE WEEK honour.

Honourable mention.

1. HEKKIE BUDLER lost to Milan Melindo.

Budler travelled to Philippines to engage in an IBO and IBF junior-flyweight unification clash.

Having first eliminated a couple of unjust clauses in the contract, Budler dared it all by competing with Melindo and appeared to be running away with the fight until the gutsy Filipino rallied back in the last three rounds by dropping Budler and swung the fight on his favour. Budler’s camp is crying foul and it has every right to feel aggrieved by the outcome. But the loss did not diminish Budler’s brave showing in enemy territory.

2. DIEGO DE LA HOYA beat Randy Caballero on points.

Although this fight was overshadowed by the slugfest between GGG and Canelo, it did not disappoint in the excitement department.

De la Hoya who is the cousin of GBP boss Oscar de la Hoya was taking a major step up in class against Caballero who lost his IBF bantamweight title on the scales and was viewed as a formidable foe in the junior-featherweight. But the young De la Hoya did not only prove his mettle but he made people including our own Andile Sidinile who was at ringside to eat humble pie.

3. JONAS SULTAN beat Johnriel Casimero on points.

The name Sultan must be invoking sad memories in Mdantsane as the Filipino came here to deal talented Makazole Tete with a brutal knockout last December.

But Casimero had to first get past Sultan in an official eliminator.

However Sultan boxed a disciplined fight to run out an easy winner.

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