Fighting for the first time since losing to pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, Canelo Alvarez (43-1-1, 31 KOs) stopped Alfredo Angulo (22-4, 18 KOs) in round 10 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Alvarez landed the first big punch he attempted, a left hook. Angulo took it and moved forward. Alvarez worked the body with both hands. A right hook knocked Angulo into the ropes. Alvarez opened up numerous times during the frame. His punches were hard and heavy. Alvarez connected with a clubbing right hand in round two. Angulo tried to jab, but his punches were slow. A three-punch combination by Alvarez landed. Angulo railed back in the last half of the round.
In round three, Alvarez opened up even more. His punches were finding the target on a consistent basis. Angulo absorbed them well. The next frame was more of the same. Alvarez jolted Angulo with a left uppercut. A big right knocked him back a step, but Angulo battled back. Alvarez’s connect rate was astronomical.
The much quicker Alvarez exploited Angulo some more in round five. Angulo fought back, but took a battering in return. Angulo landed a combination, but Alvarez backed away and jabbed him in the face.
In round six, Alvarez worked off his back foot. His shots were sharp and deadly. Angulo had no answer. He took punch after punch and asked for more. Trainer Virgil Hunter gave Angulo a tongue lashing before round seven began. The warrior came out with more fire, but Alvarez still had the answers. He used the ring and strafed Angulo with shots. There was no quit in Angulo. He landed a right hand near the end of the round.
Alvarez went back to work in round eight. The question was whether he would run out of gas. He had hit Angulo with everything he threw. Angulo backed him into the ropes and landed a few punches. The twenty-three-year-old looked tired. Angulo took advantage. He connected with three hard right hands. Alvarez countered back with a combination but the round belonged to Angulo.
In round nine, Alvarez took back whatever momentum Angulo thought he might have. A double left hook hurt Angulo - followed by stinging uppercuts. Angulo, with a beard of iron, remained standing.
Alvarez unloaded a left and right hook that stung Angulo. Alvarez uncorked a left uppercut that jolted Angulo back. Referee Tony Weeks, who had been watching Angulo closely, waved the fight off to the disappointment of the pro-Angulo fans.
The time was 47 seconds of round 10.
“It wasn’t my decision to stop the fight,” said Alvarez. “I wanted to continue fighting.”
WBC super bantamweight titleholder Leo Santa Cruz ( 27-0-1, 15 KOs) punished former super flyweight champion Cristian Mijares (48-8-2, 22 KOs) over 12 rounds to win by unanimous decision. Santa Cruz sustained a cut near his left eye courtesy of an accidental head butt. His volume of punches were too much for Mijares.
The scores were 120-108, 120-108, 119-109.
Last minute replacement Sergio Thompson (29-3, 26 KOS) floored Ricardo Alvarez (23-4-3, 13 KOS) twice en route to a 10 round unanimous decision victory. Thompson hurt Alvarez multiple times but was unable to finish him. Alvarez connected with a right hook in the last round that stunned Thompson.
Scores were 95-93 twice and 97-91.
Former featherweight world champion Jorge Linares (36-3, 23 KOs) dominated a determined Nihito Arakawa (24-4-1, 16 KOs) to win a wide 10 round decision. Linares was able to land slashing combinations for most of the fight. Arakawa, nicknamed the Japanese “Rocky,” ate shot after shot but never wilted.
Scores 100-90, 100-90, 98-92.
Doghouseboxing scored the fight 98-92 for Linares.
Attendance at the MGM Grand Garden Arena was 14,610.