In front of a raucous crowd of almost 40,000 fight fans at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KOs) handed Austin "No Doubt" Trout (26-1, 14 KOs) his first professional loss. Judges at ringside scored the bout 115-112, 116-111 and 118-109 for the undefeated Mexican , who solidified himself as one of the top fighters in the sport.
"I rose to the occasion and won the fight," said Alvarez after the win.
Alvarez started the bout differently than most experts expected. The WBC titlist focused on timing Trout's long range punches from a distance. Canelo had his moments, but Trout took the round with a sharp, clean jab. In the second, Alvarez cut the distance. Trout tried to box but Alvarez was able to make him miss more than the New Mexican resident had hoped. A left hook and right uppercut combination gave Alvarez the harder and cleaner shots.
Trout landed showy jabs in the third, but Alvarez was walking him down. Trout used clever boxing to keep it close, but Alvarez landed hard power shots throughout. In the fourth, Alvarez began slipping Trout's steady jab. The 22-year-old was having success at a distance.
The fifth round was active. Alvarez landed harder shots that moved his opponent with real force. More than that, his defense made the ever punching Trout miss more and more. At one point, Alvarez smirked at the usually sure-fisted Trout after making him miss three to four shots in a row.
Trout did good work in the sixth. Alvarez seemed to be conserving energy but no matter, it was Trout's finest work yet.
At the beginning of the seventh, a hard one-two put the hardworking Trout down to the mat for the first time in his career. He rose valiantly to his feet and fought back hard. Canelo stunned him with a right hook. Trout came back with jabs and uppercuts, but couldn't seem to hurt his opponent.
Trout boxed well in the eighth. Alvarez continued to make him miss and even took a little time to showboat a little after making him miss. Still, Alvarez didn't land many punches and Trout did.
In the ninth, Trout landed good combinations but Alvarez kept him at bay with hard right hands--the kind that floored him earlier in the fight.
Open scoring let Trout know he needed a knockout to win, so in the tenth he came out guns blazing. Trout was over aggressive at times and was hit with a hard uppercut that buckled him. Alvarez played it safe but still came away with the harder, cleaner shots.
Alvarez appeared tired in the eleventh. Trout tried to capitalize but left himself open to another buckling uppercut.
In the twelfth, Trout stayed busy but it was too late. Alvarez played it safe and countered on occasion, but he knew he had it in the bag so was content to take home the victory by decision.
After the fight, Showtime's Jim Gray asked Alvarez if he was ready to face pound-for-pound star Floyd Mayweather.
"Maybe...maybe," he said. "Viva Mexico!"
Trout was all class afterwards.
"He was the better man than me," he said. "I have no excuses."
The win unified the WBC and WBA junior middleweight titles.
In the televised undercard on Showtime, lightweight Omar Figueroa (21-0-1, 17 KOs) destroyed Abner Cotto (16-1, 7 KOs) in one round. Figueroa dropped Cotto twice with body shots, the second time for good. The referee halted the action at 2:57.
Unbeaten junior middleweight Jermall Charlo (13-0, 9 KOs) decimated Orlando Lora (29-4-2, 19 KOs) over four one-sided rounds. Lora's corner stopped the fight after their man appeared bloodied and beaten in the corner.
Finally, junior middleweight Terrell Gausha (4-0, 2 KOs) got off the deck in the first round to defeat the hapless William Walters (2-4, 2 KOs) in a four-rounder. The scores read 38-37 all three ways for the 2012 Olympian.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV