The referee is the marshal,” Canelo said. “He has the order. He is the chief and he stopped the fight because he knew what was going on. I was doing my job. This is the law of the ring. I could have fought another 10 rounds, but the referee stopped the fight. – CANELO
I’m upset because they should have let the fight go on,” Angulo said. “I’m frustrated. They should have let it go to the end. I’m fine. The referee was wrong this time. – ANGULO
Photo Credits: Tom Casino/Showtime, Esther Lin/Showtime, Ed Mulholland/Showtime, Golden Boy Promotions
LAS VEGAS, NV — It wasn’t exactly “Toe to Toe” for most of the systematic beatdown that was Canelo Alvarez vs. Alfredo Angulo, but hardly anyone would say they weren’t entertained, as Alvarez delivered a thorough display of power and countering to defeat Angulo via a 10th round stoppage.
There were no big surprises on the card when it came to upsets, but each fight had its own charm in different ways, setting a good stage for a main event that got Canelo “back on track,” but still seems to have left a lot of fans “unconvinced” based on the way it ended. Onto the highlights.
A BEATING FROM THE START: The first round dispelled any notion of Angulo having a chance in this one. Whether he left it in the gym or is just a permanently diminished fighter from his last war with Erislandy Lara, Angulo punches looked like he was fighting underwater. By the time he threw one punch, Canelo had smashed 3-4 hooks in the his face.
After just three minutes, Angulo admitted in his corner that Canelo’s shots were bothering him “just a little bit.” It was more so the speed than the power that had Angulo frozen. As the rounds progressed, we saw that Angulo’s biggest problem was the fact he wasn’t the stronger man like he anticipated. El Perro’s best punches sailed harmlessly off Canelo, forcing Angulo into retreat and vain attempts at being a counter-puncher.
HOPE LOST AT RING-CENTER: Angulo supporters thought their man would do his best work when he got Canelo trapped on the ropes. Problem is, that hardly happened. As ponderous as Canelo is on his feet, Angulo is more so, allowing the young star to comfortably keep the fight in the middle of the ring. On that battleground, Canelo continued strafing him at will with left hooks, right hands, and offense-disrupting jabs right down the middle.
TOE TO TOE OBLIGATIONS IN ROUND 8: With Canelo starting to take his usual punching breaks, round 8 was the one stanza where Angulo made him somewhat pay for it. He got Canelo on the ropes and fired away with combinations — Canelo was able to slip most of them, but the crowd was on fire hoping that a fight-changing punch would land. Both guys were in full machismo mode in exchanging taunts and asking for more. In many respects, this fun and brutal round would be the bloodied and battered Angulo’s last stand.
THE STOPPAGE: After getting wobbled with left hooks and right uppercuts, we came to the 10th round. Canelo landed a cracking lead left uppercut that snapped Angulo’s head back for the umpteenth time, making referee Tony Weeks immediately jump in to stop it. Angulo was first irate and then distraught. His trainer Virgil Hunter, who told his fighter after the 9th “I’m not going to let this happen to you, son,” somewhat changed his tune at the final bell:
Of course I’m very upset. I told the doctor if Canelo got two or three consecutive punches on him I would stop the fight. He only landed one punch and they stopped the fight. Everybody knows Alfredo was coming on strong.
Having personally seen fighters collapse with blood clots and into comas for much less punishment, I had zero issues with the stoppage. I summed it up last night with the below tweet.
Hadn’t won a rd, couldn’t hurt his man, brains getting scrambled every round.This isn’t the Roman Coliseum.Good stoppage #CaneloAngulo
— Ismael AbduSalaam (@Ismael_BBM_NYK) March 9, 2014
Angulo had no chance at winning and was getting years taking off his career (if it hasn’t already been ruined) by the repeated punishment he was taking. The man took 197 power shots, many of them flush and to the head. The fight needed to end and Angulo didn’t have to be facedown and unconscious for that to be readily apparent.[youtube http://youtu.be/PYQnJAaFR1A]
TO SOME, CANELO STILL HAS A LOT TO PROVE: According to those present, some fans pelted Canelo’s team with objects as they left. Angulo had a sizable amount of fans there, so there seemed to be belief or resentment that he got a favorable stoppage. From those watching at home, some felt Canelo was set up with the perfect opponent to make him look good.
As a rebound fight, I didn’t mind this outside of the pay-per-view distinction. But if Canelo wants to really gain some respect, he needs to stop ignoring his Erislandy Lara, who’ll be fighting Ishe Smith on May 3. The two did speak in the press room afterward, so we’ll see if that leads to anything.
SANTA CRUZ TOO MUCH FOR MIJARES: Youth trumped experience with Leo Santa Cruz have a mostly easy time working over Cristian Mijares in route to a unanimous decision (120-108 twice, 119-109). Outside of a clash of heads in the fourth that opened a cut above Santa Cruz’s right eye, the young titlist had little trouble with Mijares, who was hurt to the body several times and couldn’t keep Santa Cruz off him.
I thought Mijares might do well early, but Santa Cruz took over from the opening bell and never looked back. A great comeback for the kid after having a tough contest with Cesar Seda in his last outing.
LINARES DEFEATS ARAKAWA: He was still a bloody mess afterward, but Jorge Linares looked good in defeating Nihito Arakawa by a 10-round unanimous decision (100-90, 98-92 twice). Linares landed some great combinations and repeatedly stuck Arakawa with jabs and thudding hooks to the body. Arakawa couldn’t hurt Linares, but did succeed in getting in enough left hands to swell his right eye.
It’s too bad we can’t throw Linares in the Weapon X program and get him a healing factor and adamantium chin, because those are the only reasons he’s not a top Pound 4 Pound fighter.
This was WBC lightweight title eliminator, so we should expect to see Linares challenge for that belt by the end of this year. It’ll be his second attempt after losing to Antonio Demarco via an 11th round TKO back in 2011.
THOMPSON BEATS UP ALVAREZ: Canelo was able to get his older brother Ricardo on the card, but that only earned him a beating from Sergio Thompson, who dropped him twice to win a unanimous decision (97-91, 95-93 twice). The latter two scores were ridiculous since Thompson outpunched Alvarez in the majority of the rounds despite being out of shape (Writer’s Note: Thompson took the fight on two weeks notice).[youtube http://youtu.be/Gq9eJvnwx0g]