The controversial Mexican won the epic contest 114-114 115-113 1115-113 to take a majority decision.
It saw Canelo snatch the WBC and WBA world middleweight titles from his Kazakh foe and also deal GGG his first ever defeat in his 40th bout.
But it could well have ended in a draw – just like their first meeting 364 days previously – if it weren’t for a superb final round from Canelo.
The two judges in that scored him the win both handed him the final round.
Had they given it to Golovkin, the Las Vegas bout would have been scored 114-114 by all three of the judges.
Canelo revealed he knew the importance of the final round thanks to advice from his corner.
He said: "My corner told me I needed to win the final round and that's what I did. I'm very emotional."
While Canelo came out on top in this meeting, it’s virtually guaranteed they will do it all over again, turning the contest into a trilogy of fights.
Golovkin signalled as much afterwards: "I'm not going to say who won tonight, because the victory belongs to Canelo according to the judges. I thought I fought better than he did. We would like to have a third fight, we will negotiate that, that's what we want."
Canelo said of a rematch: "If the people want another fight then we'll do it again. We'll do it, no doubt."
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