Alfonso Gomez was building a case for a decision win against Canelo Alvarez at the Staples Center in the main support bout to the Floyd Mayweather-Victor Ortiz on Saturday night. Yes, he got knocked down in the first off a jab, but he was busy, and aggressive, and Canelo didn't seem to be on in the first four rounds of their scrap. Then Canelo landed a right upper-right follow, and buzzed Gomez. The redhead looked to close, with power shots, and ref Wayne Hedgepath stepped in and halted the action.
It looked like Gomez wasn't drowning, that he deserved more time, especially since he'd been right there with the phenom, but he didn't get that from the ref. The end came at 2:36 of the sixth.
Canelo went 103-305, to 86-364 for Gomez, in the punchstat department.
Afterwards, Canelo was asked if he came in lacking focus, too lighthearted. "I was confident and smiling, and seeing so many people here motivated me. Appreciation to the fans here tonight," he said. He said he wasn't trying to give away rounds early, and said he was taking his time, because Gomez was well prepared.
Gomez said the stoppage was quick, that the ref looked for a reason to stop it. "I was able to continue," he said. He said he expected to get screwed over, in so many words.
The WBC junior middleweight champion Canelo (from Mexico; age 21; 153 1/2 to 168 pounds; ) entered with a 37-0 (27 KOs) mark, while Gomez (from Mexico, came to US as a little kid; age 30; 152 1/2 to 159 pounds) had a 23-4-2 with 12 KOs mark.
Max Deluca, Al Rochin and Ray Corona judged.
In the first, Gomez showed a lot of torso movement, and he tried to be slippery as he came inside to land. Canelo, who set things up with body work, scored a knockdown off a jab at the tail end of the round. "Relax, nothing happened, nothing" Gomez' corner told him.
In the second, Gomez was active. He wasn't put off by that knockdown. His jab was stiff, and Canelo's punches got wider.
In the third, we saw Canelo get full extension on that jab. The guy has some of the most fabulously rubbery ligaments in existence...He stays in the pocket, and stays cool, a trait which helps him build that XL fanbase.
In the fourth, Gomez, staying low and active, tried to take the action to Canelo. He was sending a message to the judges that he came to LA to win, not last and pick up a check. Canelo got to work with 30 seconds left; the kid tries to steak rounds like a 25 year vet.
In the fifth, Canelo brought the jab back. His left hook buzzed Gomez with 30 seconds to go. But was Gomez taking rounds with this solid gameplan and workrate?
In the sixth, a right uppercut-right follow hurt Gomez badly. He followed up, and the ref jumped in to halt it. "Too quick," the HBO crew said. Canelo threw about ten unanswered punches but didn't seem out of it.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV