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Canelo Alvarez choices Jaime Munguia in title protection

Mike Coppinger, ESPNMay 5, 2024, 12:50 AM ET LAS VEGAS — The boisterous, surprising support for Jaime Munguia was swiftly extinguished with a patented Canelo Alvarez combination on Saturday, a left hook followed by a right uppercut that planted the challenger on the canvas for the first knockdown of his 44-fight career. Alvarez, boxing’s top

Canelo Alvarez choices Jaime Munguia in title protection

  • Mike Coppinger, ESPNCould 5, 2024, 12:50 AM ET

LAS VEGAS — The boisterous, stunning assist for Jaime Munguia was swiftly extinguished with a patented Canelo Alvarez mixture on Saturday, a left hook adopted by a proper uppercut that planted the challenger on the canvas for the primary knockdown of his 44-fight profession.

Alvarez, boxing’s high star, continued to construct momentum after that fourth-round knockdown and gained the struggle along with his cleaner, sharper, more durable pictures to retain his undisputed tremendous middleweight championship in an all-Mexican battle on Cinco de Mayo weekend earlier than 17,492 at T-Cellular Area.

Alvarez’s fourth profitable protection of his 4 168-pound titles was made official by way of scores of 115-113, 117-110 and 116-111. ESPN scored it 118-109. This was the third consecutive struggle that Alvarez (61-2-2, 39 KOs) scored a knockdown. He additionally dropped Jermell Charlo and John Ryder in resolution wins final yr.

“I am very proud that every one the Mexicans are right here watching us,” Alvarez, ESPN’s No. 4 pound-for-pound boxer, stated. “… He is an ideal fighter. He is robust, he is good. … However he is a little bit sluggish. I can see each punch. Generally he obtained me as a result of I get so assured. … I did actually good and I really feel proud about it. … I am the very best fighter proper now for positive.”

Munguia, the previous junior middleweight titleholder, was competing on the elite stage of the game for the primary time. And he little question acquitted himself effectively. The 27-year-old from Tijuana fought with ardour and confirmed an improved jab in his second struggle with Corridor of Fame coach Freddie Roach.

The strain and aggression of Munguia was efficient over the primary two rounds, however Alvarez finally timed his opponent, as he normally does. “I take my time,” Alvarez stated. “That is why I’ve a variety of expertise. … I’ve 12 rounds to win the struggle and I did.”

Munguia (43-1, 34 KOs) gained three rounds unanimously: the opening body together with Rounds 3 and 9. He boxed effectively, however his punches by no means appeared to have sufficient pop to achieve Alvarez’s respect.

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Even when Munguia would pin Alvarez on the ropes and unload, Alvarez was capable of evade most of these punches after which return a single shot that backed the challenger up. Then got here the knockdown in Spherical 4, and Munguia’s legs by no means appeared to get better. The expertise disparity was clear, too, with Alvarez a first-ballot Corridor of Famer who has shared the ring with virtually all the highest names round his weight throughout his run.

“I got here out robust and was profitable the early rounds,” Munguia stated by an interpreter. “I let my palms go, however he is a fighter with a variety of expertise. The loss hurts as a result of it is my first loss and I felt robust. There isn’t any doubt I’d have crushed anybody else tonight. … He is a fighter who creates a variety of issues.”

Down the stretch, Alvarez was capable of stun Munguia on a number of events, turning his aggression towards him. Alvarez’s elite counterpunching capability, extra highly effective punches and skill to evade have been all an excessive amount of to beat for Munguia. However all shouldn’t be misplaced.

Alvarez, 33, credit the primary lack of his profession, a 2013 defeat to Floyd Mayweather as a 20-year-old, because the efficiency that helped construct him into an all-time nice.

Munguia, ESPN’s No. 4 tremendous middleweight, entered the ring on the heels of his career-best victory, a ninth-round TKO of Ryder in January. Munguia’s earlier outing was named ESPN’s 2023 Battle of the 12 months, a bout vs. Sergiy Derevyanchenko the place a final-round knockdown earned Munguia the choice.

Alvarez hasn’t completed a fighter inside the space since he defeated Caleb Plant in November 2021 to change into undisputed tremendous middleweight champion.

“I am glad that I gave him this chance,” stated Guadalajara’s Alvarez, who closed as a minus-550 favourite on ESPN BET. “Munguia is a good man and an ideal champion. He will have an ideal profession.”

The promotion was overshadowed by the renewed feud between Alvarez and his former longtime promoter, Corridor of Fame boxer Oscar De La Hoya. For the primary time since November 2019, Alvarez and De La Hoya, Munguia’s co-promoter, shared a stage throughout struggle week, and Wednesday’s information convention erupted as time did little to assuage outdated wounds.

De La Hoya took intention at Alvarez and talked about his failed doping take a look at forward of his 2018 rematch with Gennadiy Golovkin. Alvarez responded that De La Hoya steals from fighters and referenced GGG, who sued Oscar’s Golden Boy Promotions in 2022 in search of upward of $3 million he believed was owed from that rematch.

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De La Hoya advised ESPN that GGG was paid each greenback attributable to him and the next day despatched Alvarez a cease-and-desist letter demanding that he retract his “defamatory allegations.”

Alvarez’s legal professional, Gregory M. Smith, advised ESPN that Alvarez “stated what he stated.”

Alvarez acknowledged that he was extra decided to win following the proceedings, and whereas he did not end Munguia inside the space, he certainly gained as soon as once more in dominant vogue.

“I’ve all the time stated [Canelo is] an excellent fighter within the ring, however this expertise for Jaime will simply take him to a different stage,” De La Hoya stated. “It is similar to Mayweather and Canelo. … Canelo obtained schooled after which he turned the face of boxing.”

Now, the cries for Alvarez to struggle David Benavidez will return as soon as extra as Alvarez prepares for his anticipated return on Mexican Independence Day weekend in September.

“If the cash’s proper … I can struggle [Benavidez] proper now,” Alvarez stated. “I do not give a s—. It is solely a matter of cash at this level. All people is asking for the whole lot.

“After I fought [Erislandy] Lara, Austin Trout, Miguel Angel Cotto, [Floyd] Mayweather, Billy Joe Saunders, GGG, everyone stated I do not wish to struggle them, and I fought all of them. So proper now … I can do no matter I need.”

This was Alvarez’s first struggle towards a fellow Mexican since he defeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., in Could 2017, and his seventh headline bout on Cinco de Mayo Weekend. Canelo has gained 4 consecutive fights since he moved as much as 175 kilos for a choice loss to Dmitry Bivol in Could 2022.

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