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Canelo Alvarez Clinches Victory Over Jaime Munguia

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Canelo Alvarez

LAS VEGAS—On Saturday, the excitement and cheers for Jaime Munguia turned into shock when Canelo Alvarez landed a powerful combination. First, Canelo threw a left hook that connected solidly with Munguia’s face. Then, in a swift follow up, he delivered a right uppercut that sent Munguia crashing to the canvas.

It’s a good new for fans but there is a bad news also, a good player died last night in his young age.

This was the first time in Munguia’s 44-fight career that he had been knocked down. The sudden turn of events silenced the boisterous support Munguia had been receiving, showcasing Canelo’s skill and dominance in the ring.

After that pivotal knockdown in the fourth round, Alvarez, widely recognized as boxing’s top star, seized control of the fight. He maintained his momentum by landing cleaner, sharper, and harder punches compared to his opponent. With precision and power, Alvarez showcased his skills in the ring.

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The match, which featured two Mexican fighters, took place on Cinco de Mayo weekend, adding to the significance of the event. The venue, T-Mobile Arena, was packed with 17,492 spectators eager to witness the action. In the end, Alvarez’s dominance was evident as he retained his undisputed super middleweight championship title.

Alvarez secured his fourth successful defense of his four 168-pound titles with official judges’ scores of 115-113, 117-110, and 116-111. ESPN’s scorecard tallied it at 118-109 in favor of Alvarez. Notably, this marked the third consecutive fight in which Alvarez, boasting a record of 61 wins, 2 losses, and 2 draws with 39 knockouts, scored a knockdown.

In previous bouts, he also sent Jermell Charlo and John Ryder to the canvas in decision wins last year. This consistent display of power and skill further solidified Alvarez’s status as one of boxing’s most dominant forces.

“I’m very proud that all the Mexicans are here watching us,” Alvarez expressed, acknowledging the support of his fellow countrymen. Ranked as ESPN’s No. 4 pound-for-pound boxer, he continued, “… He’s a great fighter. He’s strong, he’s smart. But he’s a little slow. I can see every punch. Sometimes he got me because I get so confident. I did really good and I feel proud about it. I’m the best fighter right now for sure.”

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Canelo Alvarez with his Flag after winning WBC Belt.
Canelo Alvarez with his Flag after winning WBC Belt.

Alvarez’s words reflected his gratitude for the Mexican fans in attendance and his confidence in his own abilities, despite acknowledging the strength and intelligence of his opponent. He credited his success to his skill in reading his opponent’s movements, while also acknowledging moments where his confidence led to mistakes. Overall, Alvarez expressed satisfaction with his performance and his belief in his status as the top fighter in the sport at that moment.

Munguia, a former junior middleweight titleholder, stepped onto the elite stage of boxing for the first time. Despite the challenge, he undoubtedly performed admirably. Hailing from Tijuana and at 27 years old, Munguia fought with evident passion and determination. Notably, he showcased improvements in his technique, particularly with his jab, which was refined under the guidance of Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach in their second fight together.

Munguia’s willingness to step up to face a formidable opponent like Alvarez demonstrated his commitment to competing at the highest level of the sport. Though he ultimately fell short in this bout. Munguia’s performance indicated his potential to continue growing and succeeding in the competitive world of boxing.

In the opening rounds, Munguia came out with pressure and aggression, making his presence felt in the ring. His tactics seemed effective, keeping Alvarez on his toes. However, Alvarez, known for his ability to adapt and strategize, patiently observed his opponent’s movements.

As the fight progressed, Alvarez began to find his rhythm and timing, a hallmark of his fighting style. Reflecting on his approach, Alvarez remarked, “I take my time. That’s why I have a lot of experience. I have 12 rounds to win the fight and I did.” His statement highlighted his seasoned approach to boxing, emphasizing patience and utilizing the full duration of the match to secure victory. This patience and strategic prowess ultimately proved decisive as Alvarez executed his game plan and emerged victorious.

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Munguia, with a record of 43 wins, 1 loss, and 34 knockouts, managed to secure three rounds unanimously the first round, along with Rounds 3 and 9. Throughout the match, he displayed commendable boxing skills, effectively maneuvering in the ring. However, despite his efforts, Munguia’s punches lacked the necessary power to command Alvarez’s respect.

Even in moments when Munguia managed to trap Alvarez against the ropes and unleash a flurry of punches. Alvarez demonstrated his defensive prowess by evading most of the incoming strikes. Remarkably, Alvarez would then counter with a single, well-timed shot that forced Munguia to retreat. The turning point came in Round 4 when Alvarez landed a devastating knockdown. It visibly affecting Munguia’s balance and mobility for the remainder of the bout.

Here’s the punch stats presented in a table format:

PunchesAlvarezMunguia
Total landed234170
Total thrown536663
Percent44%26%
Jabs landed8374
Jabs thrown232335
Percent36%22%
Power landed15196
Power thrown304328
Percent50%29%
These statistics provide insight into the effectiveness and efficiency of punches thrown. Which landed by both Alvarez and Munguia during the bout.

The experience gap between the two fighters was evident throughout the match. Alvarez, a seasoned veteran and a first-ballot Hall of Famer, has faced numerous elite opponents in his illustrious career. His extensive experience in the ring allowed him to navigate the challenges posed by Munguia with confidence and composure. In contrast, Munguia, despite his talent and potential, struggled to match Alvarez’s level of ring intelligence and adaptability. Ultimately, the disparity in experience played a crucial role in determining the outcome of the fight.

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“I came out strong and was winning the early rounds,” Munguia expressed through an interpreter. “I let my hands go, but he’s a fighter with a lot of experience. The loss hurts because it’s my first loss and I felt strong. There’s no doubt I would have beaten anyone else tonight. … He’s a fighter who creates a lot of problems.”

As the fight progressed, Alvarez managed to stun Munguia on several occasions, capitalizing on his opponent’s aggression. Alvarez’s superior counterpunching skills, combined with his more potent punches and defensive prowess. Which proved to be formidable obstacles for Munguia to overcome. Despite the setback, Munguia remains determined.

Alvarez, aged 33, reflects on his own career trajectory, drawing parallels to his first loss against Floyd Mayweather in 2013 when he was just 20 years old. He credits that defeat as a pivotal moment that contributed to his growth and development as a boxer. Ultimately propelling him to become one of the sport’s all time greats. This perspective offers Munguia a glimmer of hope and inspiration as he navigates his own journey in the world of professional boxing.

Munguia, ranked as ESPN’s No. 4 super middleweight contender, stepped into the ring buoyed by his recent career highlight a ninth-round TKO victory over John Ryder in January. This impressive win followed another notable performance. Munguia’s thrilling bout against Sergiy Derevyanchenko, which was named ESPN’s Fight of the Year for 2023. In that contest, Munguia secured a decision victory after delivering a decisive knockdown in the final round.

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On the other side, Alvarez’s reputation as a dominant force in boxing is undeniable. However, it’s worth noting that he hasn’t scored a knockout victory since his triumph over Caleb Plant in November 2021. When he claimed the undisputed super middleweight championship. Despite this, Alvarez’s skill, experience, and ring intelligence continue to make him a formidable opponent for any fighter in the super middleweight division.

“I’m glad that I gave him this opportunity,” expressed Alvarez, hailing from Guadalajara, reflecting on his decision to face Munguia in the ring. Alvarez, who was heavily favored with odds closing at minus-550 on SG, acknowledged Munguia’s talent and character. It is describing him as a “great guy” and a “great champion.” He expressed confidence in Munguia’s potential for a successful career in the sport.

However, amidst the anticipation for the bout, the promotional activities leading up to the fight overshadowed. By the resurfacing tension between Alvarez and his former longtime promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, who is also Munguia’s co-promoter. This marked the first time since November 2019 that Alvarez and De La Hoya shared a stage during fight week.

The simmering animosity between the two boiled over during Wednesday’s news conference, as old wounds resurfaced and tensions escalated. Despite the focus on the upcoming fight, the unresolved issues between Alvarez and De La Hoya drew significant attention during the promotional buildup.

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During the heated exchange at the news conference, De La Hoya didn’t mince words, bringing up Alvarez’s failed doping test ahead of his 2018 rematch with Gennadiy Golovkin. In response, Alvarez fired back, accusing De La Hoya of exploiting fighters financially. He specifically mentioned Golovkin, who had sued De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions in 2022, claiming he was owed over $3 million from their rematch.

De La Hoya swiftly responded to Alvarez’s allegations, asserting that Golovkin had been fully compensated for his bout. The following day, De La Hoya’s camp sent Alvarez a cease-and-desist letter, demanding that he retract his “defamatory allegations.”

Alvarez’s attorney, Gregory M. Smith, clarified to ESPN that Alvarez stood by his statements and would not retract them. This exchange between Alvarez and De La Hoya not only reignited their personal feud but also added another layer of drama to the already intense buildup to the fight.

Alvarez admitted that the tension leading up to the fight fueled his determination to emerge victorious. Though he didn’t secure a knockout victory over Munguia, he once again demonstrated his dominance in the ring.

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Reflecting on the outcome, De La Hoya acknowledged Alvarez’s prowess while emphasizing the learning experience for Munguia. Drawing a parallel to Alvarez’s own career trajectory, De La Hoya likened Munguia’s defeat to Alvarez’s loss against Mayweather, suggesting that such experiences are instrumental in propelling fighters to greater heights. He expressed confidence that Munguia’s resilience and growth following this bout would elevate him to a new level in the sport.

With another win under his belt, the spotlight now shifts to Alvarez’s future opponents. Calls for a matchup against David Benavidez are expected to resurface as Alvarez gears up for his anticipated return, slated for Mexican Independence Day weekend in September. As Alvarez continues to assert his dominance in the ring, the anticipation for his next bout only intensifies.

Alvarez didn’t hold back when discussing potential future opponents, particularly David Benavidez. “If the money’s right, I can fight [Benavidez] right now,” Alvarez declared. It’s only a matter of money at this point. Everybody is asking for everything. When I fought [Erislandy] Lara, Austin Trout, Miguel Angel Cotto, [Floyd] Mayweather, Billy Joe Saunders, GGG, everybody said I don’t want to fight them, and I fought all of them. So right now I can do whatever I want.”

This bout marked Alvarez’s first fight against a fellow Mexican since his victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in May 2017 and his seventh headline fight on Cinco de Mayo Weekend. Despite not securing a knockout victory over Munguia, Alvarez demonstrated his dominance once again.

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Alvarez has been on a winning streak since his move up to the 175-pound weight class, with four consecutive victories, following a decision loss to Dmitry Bivol in May 2022.

With his confidence at an all-time high, Alvarez’s remarks suggest he is in a position to dictate his future opponents based on his terms, particularly when it comes to lucrative matchups like one with Benavidez. As Alvarez continues to solidify his legacy as one of boxing’s greats, fans eagerly await his next move in the ring.

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  1. Pingback: Unlocking the Mystery of Cinco de Mayo, Why Americans Celebrate it - Sports Groovy

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