It wasn’t the Thrilla in Manila where Muhammad Ali ended her unholy trilogy when he thought he was going to die, just like Joe Frazier was in retirement when he was practically blinded.
It wasn’t episode three of Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder when the Gypsy King finally defeated the Bronze Bomber mid next year.
But it was a fitting conclusion to a rivalry that was electrifying in its first two parts and honest enough in its unanimous decision to settle the matter without reproach or remorse.
There was no sin in this town on Saturday night. At least not in the T-Mobile Arena.
The third installment of the epic Canelo-Triple G-Series didn’t fully come to life until Gennady Golovkin found the strength and energy somewhere in his 40-year-old body to give Saul Alvarez a fight and his adoration for thousands of Mexican Independence Weekend-celebrators .
A fight for the undisputed super middleweight world title that Canelo seemed to have completed by halftime, only to suddenly reach a climax.
This near-resurrection of the Kazakh technician, who seemed to be growing old before our eyes in the earlier rounds, was close enough to turn my scorecard into a tie.
But when it’s that close, there’s no arguing from me with the two judges who voted 115-113 for the virtual hometown boy. That made a difference of just one lap between us. The third official was a little over the top at 116-112…but who cares!
You have to love Canelo for his heart, courage and fighting spirit that saw him run the full distance in the opening rounds with a broken left hand.
For his patriotic empathy with his people, who had fits when the scoring gap closed but returned to a frenzy when the Margarita-Ville verdict, which will be for a few more days.
The two best fighters of their generation gave boxing what it sorely needed after controversy over the scoring of the first two bouts as an inappropriate win for Alvarez followed by an unlikely draw. A definitive, undisputed result.
Behind the technicalities of the cards there is a feeling that Canelo deserves to put its exclamation mark. Golovkin’s mistake was to start slowly. In the end he did a little too little, too late.
But the effort allowed him to embrace with his younger opponent before their final goodbye. Congratulate Alvarez and exchange rich compliments as one great fighter to another.
The feel-good factor warmed us all. As was Canelo’s entry into the arena with legendary Mexican singer Alejandro Fernande walking alongside, emotionally reciting patriotic songs with the accompaniment of several mariachi bands.
The broken hand underscored how hard he hit Golovkin, and he would say, “I need surgery before I fight again.”
That he would like to compete in a rematch with Dmitry Bivol, the unheralded Russia, he took too lightly four months ago and proved too big for him even at light heavyweight.
Whoever, the Canelo odyssey continues to the sound of music. He says: “It has been a privilege to share the ring with Triple G and I have more history to make.” Whither Golovkin?
Asked if this second loss to Canelo means retirement, he said: “I still feel good. I still feel strong I’ve only lost twice to one of the greatest fighters in the world and I’m unhurt. And I’m still the unified middleweight champion of the world.’
Losing weight but still increasing for what he calls: “This dangerous game that can be very harmful.”
A trilogy born in enmity ended in mutual admiration. We can all be really grateful for that.