Former unified light-middleweight king Saul Alvarez made it clear that he has plenty left to offer the sport with a stunning one-sided victory over compatriot Alfredo Angulo at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
‘Canelo’ came out strong in the first two rounds and was obviously trying to take Angulo by surprise, with Alvarez having a point to prove following his first defeat against Floyd Mayweather in September.
After clearly being hurt throughout the first six minutes, and especially at the end of the second, Angulo was visibly cautious about letting his shots go as Alvarez continued to apply the pressure in the third. Angulo was sapped of all energy by the end of nine minutes and looked ripe for the picking going into the fourth round – as trainer Virgil Hunter used mind games to gee his fighter up to get back into the contest.
Although there was more success than the previous few rounds for Angulo in the fourth, his punches had no snap and the determined Alvarez found it hard to miss the target, which was repeated in the fifth.
By the sixth, a frustrated Angulo was so easy to hit and predictably marked up as ‘Canelo’ plunged left hook after left hook into the face of ‘El Perro’ to complete a total shut-out in the first half of the fight. Repeated calls from Hunter to use his jab went unheeded as Alvarez dragged Angulo into his kind of fight and it seemed just a matter of time before the encounter would be stopped by referee Tony Weeks.
A quieter seventh was more noticeable for Angulo’s trademark facial swelling than anything in particular as Alvarez took a breather, although he still got off with some classy combinations that couldn’t miss the static target in front of him.
The round of the fight came in the eighth as the two finally engaged in the previously foreseen toe-to-toe battle. Both had their moments as they goaded each other into giving them their best shot and an all-out slug-fest ensued.
Alvarez was consistently coming out the exchanges the better though as Angulo’s facial problems worsened and after more of the same in the ninth, Weeks finally stepped in the tenth round to end the fight. It was yet more evidence that Angulo should consider stepping away from the sport as his fragile face clearly cannot sustain taking solid punches for more than a few rounds.
Alvarez could now be set for a shot at the vacant WBC light-middleweight title he previously held, although that all depends on whether old foe Mayweather is willing to vacate the green belt in the immediate future.
There is also the alternative that Alvarez may fancy moving up to meet the winner of Sergio Martinez v Miguel Cotto in the fall as more pre-weight problems surfaced for the 23 year-old, who returns to the win column after a six month absence.
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