By Miguel Maravilla at ringside
Photos: Chris Cozzone
Former world champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (43-1-1, 31 KOs) rebounded from his loss to Floyd MAyweather last September with an impressive tenth round TKO over Alfredo “Perro” Angulo (22-2, 18 KOs) in a middleweight bout on Saturday night before a crowd of 14,610 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Canelo came out aggressively and battered Angulo, pushing him back and keeping him from getting leverage on his punches. Canelo’s hands were much faster as landed at a very high percentage. Angulo took a savage beating but kept coming. The best round was round eight when both fighters went toe to toe in some thrilling exchanges. Referee Tony Weeks finally stopped the fight to save Angulo from further punishment in round ten. Time was :47. Neither Angulo, nor the crowd were happy with the stoppage.
“I could have fought another 10 rounds,” said Canelo, “the stoppage isn’t my problem.” Angulo said the plan was for him to finish strong in the late rounds. “I wanted to keep fighting,” he said.
WBC super bantamweight Leo Santa Cruz (27-0-1, 15 KOs) scored a one-sided twelve round unanimous decision over former champion Cristian Mijares (49-8-2, 24 KOs). The 25-year-old Santa Cruz overwhelmed and overpowered the 32-year-old Mijares, who had two reigns as super flyweight champion. Scores were 119-109, 120-108, 120-108.
In a grueling lightweight contest, former two-division world champion Jorge Linares (36-3, 23 KOs) won a ten round unanimous decision over iron-chinned Japanese warrior Nihito Arakawa (24-4-1, 16 KOs). Linares boxed beautifully against the game Arakawa in an entertaining fight. Scores were 98-92, 100-90, 100-90.
In an upset, lightweight Sergio “Yeyo” Thompson (29-3, 26 KOs), who came in as a late sub, won a ten round unanimous decision over Ricardo Alvarez (23-3-3, 13 KOs), the older brother of Canelo. Thompson jumped all over Alvarez in round one. Alvarez rebounded in round two, but referee Vic Drakulich gave Alvarez a count after he was driven into the ropes with a jab in round three. Thompson continued to pressure Alvarez and put him on the deck again in round eight with a straight right. Scores were 95-93, 95-93, 97-91.