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Golovkin draws with Alvarez in middleweight superfight

Gennady Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez fought to a controversial draw in their long-awaited middleweight world title bout in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Kazakh Golovkin and Mexican Alvarez each got the nod from one judge, while the third declared it a draw. Golovkin, who landed more punches overall, remains unbeaten over his career and retains his middleweight WBA, WBC, IBF and IBO belts.

Golovkin started cautiously but had the edge in the middle rounds as the fight heated up and started to live up to its hype, eventually turning into a brutal and memorable encounter.

Alvarez, urged by his corner that he needed something special in the final few rounds, finished with a flurry as the capacity crowd cheered him on at T-Mobile Arena.

All three judges gave the Mexican the last three rounds.

Golovkin landed more punches over the 12 rounds and was ahead 218 to 169 overall by an unofficial count.

Both boxers said they were keen to fight again.

Yes, of course, if the people want it,” said Alvarez, who thought he had won “seven or eight” rounds.

“Look at my belts. I‘m still the champion,” he said. “Of course I want a rematch.”

While many experts gave Golovkin the edge, the scorecard of the judge that awarded it to Alvarez 118-110 immediately raised eyebrows.

Another judge scored it 115-113 to Golovkin, while the third had it a 114-114 draw. The result was roundly booed.

The two best middleweights and two of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport offered contrasting styles.

Golovkin mostly occupied the centre of the ring, while Alvarez was more comfortable near the ropes, content for the most part to counterpunch.

California-based Golovkin, widely known by his nickname ‘Triple G’, had an edge in jabs, but neither fighter could deliver a knockout.

“I want big drama show. It’s not my fault,” said Golovkin.

The result leaves Golovkin with a 37-0-1 career record, while Alvarez is 49-1-2, his only loss coming against Floyd Mayweather in 2013.

The fight was two years in the making before the two camps agreed terms and though Golovkin came in as champion, he accepted a smaller guarantee, reportedly $3 million (£2.2 million) to Alvarez’s $5 million.

(Andrew Both)

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Bulgarian challenger Pulev vows to upset Joshua

SOFIA – Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev is confident of causing a major upset when he meets world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua for the IBF title next month, confirming the fight will take place on Oct. 28 in Cardiff.

“Anthony Joshua is a great and dangerous rival, but his style fits perfectly with mine,” the 36-year-old Pulev, who has only one loss in 26 fights, wrote on his page in Facebook on Monday.

”In boxing, the boxers’ styles dictate the match and there’ll be not many hugs, there will be a heavy boxing (on Oct 28).

“My preparations go very intensely because of the short time I have, and I will be perfectly ready when I get into the ring so that he has no chance against me.”

Joshua, who also holds the WBA and IBO titles, has been told he must face IBF mandatory challenger Pulev before Dec. 2 or risk being stripped of that belt.

The 27-year-old Briton, undefeated in 19 fights, had been due to face Wladimir Klitschko in a rematch of their April bout, which Joshua won with an 11th-round knockout, but Klitschko has since announced his retirement.

Pulev, one of Bulgaria’s most popular sportsmen, turned professional at the age of 28 in September 2009, less than a year after winning the European amateur boxing title in Liverpool.

He has held the European heavyweight title twice between 2012 and 2016 and has challenged once for the unified world heavyweight title in 2014, losing to Klitschko in Hamburg on a fifth-round knockout.

(Angel Krasimirov)

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Mayweather on putting legacy on the line: ‘It’s worth it’

With his superfight against Conor McGregor a little over a week away, Floyd Mayweather struck a reflective tone on Thursday as he discussed the risk of coming out of retirement for a massive payday.

Mayweather, who has not fought in nearly two years, needs a win next week to surpass Rocky Marciano’s record and reach 50-0 for his career, while McGregor, who is making his professional boxing debut, is 21-3 in mixed martial arts.

“When a fighter has lost before, if he loses again they say ‘oh, it’s nothing, he’s lost before,'” Mayweather told a conference call. “But when a fighter has been dominating for 20-some years and never lost, everything is on the line.

“My legacy. My boxing record. Everything is on the line.”

The fight, which the two combatants promoted with a four-city international media tour stretching across three countries, has garnered plenty of interest despite scepticism about how competitive it will be.

Mayweather, a master defensive technician and tactician, is heavily favored to win the Aug. 26 fight in Las Vegas but the 40-year-old has said that, on paper, everything leans toward the 29-year-old Irishman, who is taller and has a longer reach.

Mayweather acknowledged the physical demands of training for a fight had become much harder on his body than when in his prime, but said he did not let negative thoughts enter his mind.

“I try not to think about losing or taking the ‘L.’ That’s not really my focus. Every day I tell myself I am a winner. I was born to be a winner at life. Not just in the ring but I was born to be a winner,” said Mayweather.

“It’s all about taking risk. I wouldn’t be where I’m at if I didn’t take risks so I don’t mind putting a 49-0 record on the line, putting everything on the line for this fight. I feel like it’s worth it.”

Mayweather may be far from his prime but feels his sheer experience in the ring will carry him through what he says will be his last fight, one that is expected to be the most lucrative event in the history of combat sport.

“I don’t think that I’m the same Floyd Mayweather that I was 21 years ago. Of course not,” he said.

“I don’t think that I’m the same Floyd Mayweather that I was 10 years ago. I’m, not even the same Floyd Mayweather that I was I was five or two years ago.

“But I still have a high IQ in that ring. And experience wise, it leans toward me, period, because I have been in the ring at such a high level for so long.”

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ian Ransom)

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Mayweather vows to finish McGregor bout early

LAS VEGAS- Floyd Mayweather has said he has done his homework on mixed martial artist Conor McGregor and promised their multi-million dollar fight in Las Vegas on Aug. 26 will not go the distance.

Both fighters have now tipped a knockout finish to the hotly anticipated bout between arguably one of the greatest boxers of all time and the explosive UFC champion.

“Expect excitement. He’s gonna talk trash, I’m gonna talk trash, there’s gonna be a lot of blood, sweat and tears,” Mayweather told reporters at a media conference at his gym in Las Vegas.

Casually dressed in a black T-shirt and shorts, the bluster and profanity of the recent four-city promotional tour undertaken with McGregor was replaced by a more sober analysis.

“It’s about doing your homework. It’s not really watching fight tapes, it’s about knowing the person you’re facing across the ring from you. You want to know what they like to eat, what they’re doing when they’re not in camp,” said the undefeated 40-year-old.

“That’s called really doing your due diligence, doing your homework on your opponent.”

Mayweather brushed off suggestions that the left-handed McGregor might cause him problems.

“Last time I checked I was undefeated, whether it was orthodox or southpaw. McGregor, he’s gonna come out and keep switching (stances)… but when you keep switching all you’re doing is burning energy,” he told reporters.

The brash 29-year-old Irishman, who has never boxed professionally, became the first UFC fighter to hold two belts simultaneously when he added the lightweight belt to the featherweight title he already held last November.

Having scored two knockouts to win his belts, McGregor has confidently predicted he will floor Mayweather within four rounds to hand the American his first defeat in what will be his 50th professional bout.

“He’s looking forward to getting out there and ending the fight early. I’m looking forward to going out there and ending the fight early. It won’t go the distance,” said Mayweather, the winner of a slew of titles in various weight classes.

“He’s confident. They’re always confident. But it’s different when you get in there with Floyd Mayweather.”

WBA light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly will defend his title against Sweden’s Badou Jack, who is promoted by Mayweather, on the undercard of the Las Vegas bout, event organizers announced on Thursday.

This fight will be Briton Cleverly’s first title defense since beating German Juergen Braehmer to win the belt last October.

“This is a fight I have wanted ever since Badou Jack moved to light heavyweight and I’m delighted to fight in Vegas on an event like this,” Cleverly said.

The other fight on the undercard sees Gervonta “Tank” Davis put his IBF junior lightweight world title on the line against the undefeated Francisco Fonseca.

(Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Ian Ransom)

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Former heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko

Factbox on former heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko, who announced his retirement from boxing on Thursday.

Born: March 25, 1976 Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan (Age 41)

Win-loss record: 64-5 (53 knockouts)
Early Years

* Won gold medal at junior European championships in Thessaloniki as a heavyweight in 1993. Claimed silver at the junior world championships in Istanbul a year later.

* Won gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in the super-heavyweight division as an amateur.
Professional Career

* Turned professional in 1996.

* Built an undefeated record of 24-0 with 22 knockouts before suffering his first loss to Ross Puritty in Klitschko’s only professional bout in Ukraine.

* Defeated American Chris Byrd in 2000 to win the WBO heavyweight title. His reign ended with a defeat to Corrie Sanders in 2003.

* Regained the IBF and IBO titles in a rematch with Byrd in 2006.

* Won the WBO title for the second time by defeating Russian Sultan Ibragimov in 2008.

* Was awarded the Ring and lineal titles with a victory over Uzbekistan’s Ruslan Chagaev in 2009.

* Won the WBA title from Briton David Haye in 2011.

* Went undefeated for 11 years before losing his WBA, IBF and WBO titles to Tyson Fury in November 2015.

* Knocked out in the 11th round by current champion Anthony Joshua at Wembley in April.

* Fought in 29 heavyweight title fights, more than any heavyweight champion in the sport’s history.

(Compiled by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru)