Canelo Álvarez and Gennady Golovkin fight for the third time when they step into the ring inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday evening. This is one of the most talked about rivalries in recent boxing history, but there’s massive title implications with the bout.
Canelo comes into the bout holding all the relevant super middleweight title belts. He is the undisputed champion of the division and will enter the ring with the WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, WBO, and The Ring titles. It’s safe to say he will not in fact be wearing all five belts into the ring as that might get a little heavy!
Although Canelo did lose his last bout, that one involved him moving up to light heavyweight to challenge Dmitry Bivol for the WBA (Super) title. Canelo lost a unanimous decision, but did not lose his super middleweight titles.
In September 2018, Canelo beat GGG in a rematch to retain his WBA (Super) and WBC middleweight titles and claim the vacant The Ring title. He then moved up to super middleweight in December and claimed his first title when he won the WBA (Regular) title with a third-round TKO of Rocky Fielding.
After moving back to middleweight and then climbing up to light heavyweight, he settled into the super middleweight division and began cleaning it out. In December 2020 he beat Callum Smith via unanimous decision to win the WBA (Super), WBC, and The Ring titles. He added the WBO title in May 2021 when Billy Joe Saunders retired after eight rounds. He completed the sweep of the division with a November 2021 11th round TKO of Caleb Plant to claim the IBF title.
Canelo and GGG fought for middleweight titles in their first two fights, but this bout is the first in which an undisputed crown will be on the line. In 2017, they each held titles, with Canelo holding The Ring title and GGG holding the WBA (Super), WBC, and IBF titles. They fought to a draw and then rematched a year later. In 2018, GGG had been stripped of the IBF title and Canelo had been stripped of The Ring title. The bout was for GGG’s WBA (Super) and WBC titles, and also for the then vacant The Ring title. Canelo claimed them with a majority decision.