Story by Miguel Maravilla
Photos by Chris Cozzone
WBC Super Welterweight Champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Josesito Lopez met with the press following their “Knockout Kings” showdown at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, in which Alvarez scored a fifth round TKO.
“I came here and I fought my heart out I am a little disappointed,” Lopez admitted. “We came up short and I have to congratulate the champion.”
Lopez, now 30-5, 18 KOs, did not state immediate plans, but that he would “take a break and sit with my team to see where we go from here.”
Moments later, Alvarez made his arrival.
“What can I say?” he said. “I feel good. Josesito was a tough fighter. It was a good fight and he came to fight.”
Alvarez used his jab early as Lopez right eye began to swell. The following round, a left hook to the body sent Josesito to the canvas but Lopez quickly got up as referee Joe Cortez counted. Canelo, once again, connected to the body with a left hook, scoring a knockdown the following round.
“I took my time and did not get overconfident,” Canelo said. “I never think about the knockout. We trained in camp to use combinations to the body. We knew that he was going to put on weight and executed the plan.”
In round four a flurry of combinations sent Josesito to the canvas once again. In round five, referee Joe Cortez stepped in to stop the action at 2:55 as Canelo landed a flurry of combinations on Lopez. With the win Saul “Canelo” Alvarez improves his record to 41-0-1, 29 KOs, now sets himself in line for possible showdowns with the likes of Miguel Cotto or Floyd Mayweather.
“I will keep giving good fights. All I have to do now is work hard and improve.” Alvarez told the media.
When the inevitable question about fighting Mayweather was brought up, Alvarez stated, “Whoever they put in front of me I will fight. I am not ready for Mayweather, I was born ready.”
Alvarez was also the winner of the Knockout Kings $100,000 KO bonus for best knockout of the night which was voted by the fans.
Preceding Alvarez at the post-fight presser was Marcos Maidana, who was victorious in defeating Jesus Soto Karass by TKO.
“The fight was hard,” said Maidana. “Jesus Soto Karass is a tough, strong fighter. I hope you all enjoyed the fight. I felt good winning and I am back on track, waiting for big names. I want the best at 147.”
Marcos Maidana now stands at 32-3, 29 KOs.
Daniel Ponce De Leon was present at the press conference to talk about his win over Jhonny Gonzalez.
“I have been waiting to be world champion once again,” he said. “This is the happiest day of my life. I have been world champion before, but this one was better because I am more mature now. I am ready for whoever is next.”
De Leon, now 44-4, 35 KOs, won the WBC featherweight title.
In the opening Showtime telecast, Leo Santa Cruz scored a TKO over former world champion Eric Morel at the end of round five, retaining his IBF bantamweight and making his first defense, improving his record to 21-0-1, 12 KOs.
“I came here to fight for the fans,” he said. “I trained really hard to give you a good show.”