Canelo Alvarez confirmed he has his sights set on a rematch with Dmitry Bivol after convincingly handling the third fight of his trilogy against Gennadiy Golovkin on Saturday.
Alvarez took a unanimous decision on the scorecards, although two judges had things much closer than it looked to the naked eye, scoring it seven rounds to five for the Mexican, while the third judge had it eight-to-four.
In one of the most highly anticipated trilogies of this generation, the 40-year-old Golovkin had noticeably lost a step compared to the version of himself that arguably won both of the first two fights, although the first was scored as a draw and he lost a controversial majority decision in the second.
Alvarez is still very much in his prime at 32 years old, and he was physically dominant, boasting a clear speed advantage with his hands and his footwork as he seemingly took each of the first eight rounds without much trouble.
From that point on Alvarez took his foot off the pedal, coasting through the championship rounds while avoiding any dangerous exchanges as he was convinced he had already done enough to bank the decision.
Speaking after his win, Alvarez thanked Golovkin for his part in what will go down as some of the richest fights since the end of the Floyd Mayweather era, with the two competitors splitting a guaranteed $65million for Saturday's outing, and that is before adding in their pay-per-view cuts.
"Thank you so much my friend, thank you Golovkin," he said. "We gave the fans three good fights – thank you for everything.
"Thank you all so much for your support. I've gone through some very difficult things in my life, and the only thing you can do is try to continue moving forward.
"I've gone through difficult times recently with my defeat, and I've actually shown that defeats are great, because it enables you to come back and show humility.
"[Golovkin] is a really good fighter – he's a great fighter, and that's why we're here. I'm glad to share the ring with him, and I'm going to keep moving forward to keep my legacy going strong."
His recent defeat against Bivol was the only loss of Alvarez's career other than his defeat against Floyd Mayweather when he was just 23 years old back in 2013.
After starting his championship-level career at super welterweight (154lbs), Alvarez has continued to rise through the weight classes in search of more world titles.
He jumped up to middleweight (160lbs) in 2015 to defeat Miguel Cotto, before going up again to super middleweight (168lbs) – where he remains now – to dethrone Rocky Fielding in 2018.
In 2019 he made the decision to push things even further, challenging Sergey Kovalev for the light heavyweight title (175lbs), where he struggled with the significant size disadvantage, but came from behind to score a knockout win in the 11th round.
Bivol was his second crack at light heavyweight, and it went very similar to his first try, except this time he could not find a fight-changing blow through 12 rounds of impressive action from the bigger, longer, stronger Bivol.
Despite what was a surprisingly convincing loss, Alvarez made it clear he is determined to avenge the defeat, putting emphasis on the legacy he hopes to leave.
"It's very important for my legacy, for me," he said. "For my pride, for my country, for my family, for everything.
"It's very important... I will beat him."