Canelo Alvarez withstood an early tactical onslaught from stylish Cuban Erislandy Lara to eventually see out a deserved split victory at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The 23 year-old looked bamboozled early on by Lara’s speed and movement, although a switch in tactics around the fourth round completely swung the fight in the former world champion’s favour.
Alvarez went to the body more and more in an attempt to slow down Lara, and from the sixth round onwards, seemed in complete control as Lara struggled to suck up some of the heavier shots.
On my scorecard, Canelo took every one of the last seven sessions having lost four of the first five, and could now be handed a world title chance at the back end of this year or the beginning of next.
Questions were asked in the aftermath about a possible rematch between the two, although Canelo neither confirmed or denied that the pair could be set to square off again. A distraught Lara was convinced he did enough to get the result, but was ultimately disappointed upon the reading of the cards.
Scores of 117-111 and 115-113 for Canelo overshadowed Lara’s own 115-113 to give the Mexican superstar another great win for his record – with my own card of 116-112 adding more weight to what looked a correct decision.
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