Canelo Alvarez shows Jaime Munguia that he’s still top dog in Mexico

by Admin
Canelo Alvarez shows Jaime Munguia that he’s still top dog in Mexico

It’s still Canelo Alvarez’s time.

The undisputed 168-pound champion dropped and defeated a determined, but overmatched Jaime Munguia by a unanimous decision to retain his title in an all-Mexican battle Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The official scores were 117-110, 116-111 and 115-112. Boxing Junkie also had it 117-110 for Alvarez, nine rounds to three.

“I take my time,” said Alvarez, 33. “… I have a lot of experience. Jaime Munguia is a great fighter, he’s strong, he’s smart. I take my time. I have 12 rounds to win he fight and I did.

“I did really good, and I feel proud about it.”

The fight followed a pattern from the early rounds on. Munguia (43-1, 34 KOs) threw more punches than Alvarez (61-2-2, 39 KOs) but landed at a relatively low percentage, a result of the champion’s superb defensive abilities.

Meanwhile, Alvarez, who values accuracy over volume, consistently landed the harder, cleaner shots. He seemed to pick the challenger apart at times.

One of Alvarez’s clean shots came in Round 4, resulting in the most dramatic moment of the fight. He landed a perfect, head-snapping right uppercut that put Munguia on the canvas for the first time in his career and had viewers wondering whether they were about to see an early knockout.

Munguia wouldn’t allow that to be the beginning of the end, however. He continued to fight his heart out, staying busier than Alvarez and finding the target on many occasions.

The problem for the younger fighter was that the pattern continued until the final bell, Munguia connecting on one in four punches while Alvarez landed almost one of two. And the latter’s punches were more punishing.

According to CompuBox, Alvarez landed 234 of 536 punches overall, 43.7%. He connected on 49.7% of his power shots, a number that makes it extremely difficult for an opponent to win.

Munguia landed 177 of 663 punches, 25.6%, which isn’t disgraceful given the opponent but not high enough to win the fight.

“He’s strong, but he’s a little slow,” Alvarez said of Munguia. “I can see every punch. Sometimes he got me because I get so confident. But, you know, like I say .. I have this kind of experience. That’s why I’m the best.”

The best?

“I’m the best fighter right now, for sure,” he said.

Munguia might not dispute that.

The 27-year-old from Tijuana was proud of his effort but he seemed to recognize that he didn’t do enough to have his hand raised.

“I think at the beginning I was winning some of those rounds,” he said through a translator.” It was going well. I let my hands go. But he’s a fighter with a lot of experience, obviously.

“Unfortunately he beat me. The loss hurts.”

What’s next for Alvarez? The fans would suggest longtime 168-pound rival David Benavidez, who some believe the champion is avoiding.

Benavidez is scheduled to fight Oleksandr Gvozdyk at 175 pounds on the Gervonta Davis-Frank Martin card on June 15 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

However, he made it clear in an interview before the fight on Saturday that he’d be more than happy to move back down to 168 to take on the undisputed champion if things go well against Gvozdyk.

Alvarez said it could happen if he’s paid enough. And, then again, maybe not.

“I don’t know right now,” he said. “I’m going to rest, I’m going to enjoy my family. … But if the money is not right, I can fight right now. I don’t give a s—t.”

It’s only a matter of money?

“Yeah,” he said. “… At this point everybody is asking for everything, right? When I fought with [Erislandy] Lara, [Austin] Trout, Miguel Angel Cotto, Mayweather, … Billy Joe Saunders. They said I didn’t want to fight them and I fought all of them.

“Right now I can ask for whatever I want, and I can do whatever I want.”

Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie

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