Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin appeared to end their long-running acrimonious war of words last night following the Mexican’s unanimous victory in their trilogy match.
Alverez won 116-112, 115-113, 115-113 to end the five-year rivalry that spanned 36 rounds of boxing in three bouts, with the Mexican finally coming out on top after a draw and a doubtful win.
After the fight, the two rivals embraced before exchanging words of praise and encouragement for the other, with Canelo branding Golovkin his “friend”.
‘Thank you very much my friend. Thank you for everything,” said the 32-year-old.
“We gave the fans three good fights and thank you for everything.”
Earlier exchanges have included allegations of drug use, references to home countries and comments on the fighters’ reputation as champions.
But that now appears to have been crushed, and Golovkin echoed his rival’s words before refusing to back down, despite being now 40 years old.
“I want to shake hands with Canelo,” he said. ‘Congratulations. The guy is a real warrior and if you don’t get it, you don’t get it.
“I still have this fire burning inside me. I have a passion for boxing. Don’t forget I have three belts at 160 pounds. I feel great.
“I didn’t allow any serious shots. I’m tired, I’m fresh. I feel the strength and power within me.
“Obviously if the opportunity arises I will try to get back in the ring. i can come back guys I’m still a champion.’
It’s likely Canelo will now be pushing for a rematch with WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol, who defeated the Mexican in May.
Canelo promised to continue progressing after last night’s win, having previously made clear his intention to fight Bivol again.
“I’ve been through some difficult things in my life and the only thing you can do is keep moving forward,” he said.
“I’ve been going through tough times with my losses lately and I’ve actually shown that losing is great because it’s a great way to come back and show humility.”