Cinnamon-topped Saul "Canelo" Alvarez hoped to get back on the sunny side with a win over Alfredo Angulo, months after getting schooled by Floyd Mayweather. That he did, with a message, one of violence and passionate intensity, sent to the doubters that he wasn't going to drop into a depression and drop off the map.
At the MGM in Vegas, Canelo and Angulo both had their fair share of rooters shouting out their preference as the fighters strode to the ring in all Mexican showdow.. and the love from the rooters didn't decrease as the men engaged in a torrid rumble, though the ending had many folks weighing in with dismay.
Canelo came out blasting, and had a few dips, but basically landed near every power shot he threw at Angulo. Come round ten, the ref stepped in and saved the brave Angulo from eating more. Many booed the TKO call and didn't love the timing, but he'd more than earned his check, and he'd accumulated a wicked amount of brain rattling launches.
"The referee stopped the fight, it's the law of the ring, I could have fought another ten rounds," the victor said afterwards, while a good portion of the crowd booed their vote at the ref's call.
"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."
More bewildering, perhaps, was that Canelo's trainer Virgil Hunter declared after that his man was coming on, despite ample evidence. "Of course I'm very upset," he said. "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."
Regarding stats, Canelo went 295-513, a sterling 58% connect percentage. Angulo went a fairly sad 104-770, landing 14%, which is in fact quite sad.
Canelo came in with slightly lighter pockets, having to give $100,000 of his purse to Fredo for coming in over the max weight on Friday. Fredo, too, was a half pound over, but didn't have to pay a penalty. The contracts were amended late in the game to reflect a max weight of 155 pounds. Canelo had to weigh 168 or less on Saturday afternoon, and he made that hurdle.
Canelo (age 24) was 170 to 174 for Fredo (age 32) before the fight. Canelo was 42-1-1 while Fredo was 22-3 entering.
In the first, Canelo launched a sharp left hook right away. He dug the hooks to the body early on as well. Fredo woke up late in the round after eating breakfast and lunch of leather.
"He cannot beat you," trainer Virgil Hunter told Fredo after the round.
In the second, Canelo's power shots looked like they were top grade. He came forward, was busy, and looked like he was taking out some aggravation from the Floyd loss on Fredo. Fredo put together some combos, and the crowd was truly into the scuffle.
In the third, Fredo looked to be the attacker. He ate a right uppercut, though, and his punches didn't look to be as stiff as Canelos.' He had to hope Canelo would lose steam. Fredo landed some rights but nothing like Canelos' rippers.
Fredo in the fourth ate overhand rights, but he showed signs of life. In the fifth, Canelo started to droop some. Did he eat up too much energy? Canelo was now with back to the ropes, some, not in center ring. The left hook was not so zesty from Canelo, not compared to the first few rounds.
They exchanged, the crowd went beyond ballistic, in round eight. Perro's right eye was closing but he wasn't in quit mode.
In round nine, Canelo was walloping Fredo and the doc took a hard look after the round.
A massive uppercut in the tenth was enough for Tony Weeks, who stepped in, and halted the tussle. The crowd booed, not liking the timing.
At the time Weeks pulled the plug, the judges had it 89-82, 89-82, 88-83, for Canelo, for the record.
In a post-fight interview with Jim Gray, Nevada State Athletic Commission Chairman Francisco Aguilar defended Weeks.
"After speaking with Tony and the doctor, I think it's understandable why the decision was made," Aguilar said. "Tony made his decision and he made his decision with the consultation of a doctor.
"Our job as a commission is to ensure the health and safety of our fighters. We don't want the referee to determine the outcome of the fight but he made the decision to protect the health of the fighter."
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