Las Vegas: His defining, captivating showing behind him, Canelo Alvarez breathed in the satisfaction of delivering Gennady Golovkin his first defeat and all that meant.

By forcing the man who terrorised the division for more than half a decade to retreat, by punching through the cloud that accompanies a positive drug test and by silencing critics with a heartfelt performance, Alvarez won more than two middleweight belts on Saturday.

“I did everything we could to complete our objective. All the work we did paid off in the ring,” the Mexican fighter said following his triumph at T-Mobile Arena.

By producing 24 intense rounds — including last year’s draw — without either man hitting the canvas, Alvarez and Golovkin seem destined for a trilogy fight. The question is when?

Alvarez told promoter Oscar De La Hoya to book a December 15 bout, and the favoured opponent is former International Boxing Federation middleweight champ David Lemieux, who scored a first-round knockout of Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan on Saturday’s card.

“I hope I fight Canelo in December. I’ll fight him in November,” Lemieux said.

Golovkin trainer Abel Sanchez said for a third meeting to come on Cinco de Mayo weekend next year, the public will have to push for it.

“Obviously, Triple-G’s camp is going to want it, but we have to be real here: They both just survived a devastating war,” De La Hoya said. “They’re tired, and it’d be silly to match them up back to back to back again. Canelo’s going to go down his own path to super-stardom. This fight took him there. Triple-G has to regroup himself, get a couple more wins, maybe, until we do it again.”