Canelo Alvarez will look to spice up his career after a disappointing setback to Floyd Mayweather Jr., while Alfredo Angulo Lopez is eager to finally break through against a big name after years of frustration against the upper echelon.
This gives us boxing's first big pay-per-view (PPV) of 2014, which goes down TONIGHT (Sat., March 8, 2014) LIVE from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. MMAmania will deliver LIVE coverage of the "Angulo vs. Canelo" event below starting at 9 p.m. ET!
Whilst "Canelo" needs no introduction, for those mixed martial arts (MMA) fans not entirely familiar with Alfredo Angulo and want some Cliffs Notes: Think of Robbie Lawler. Angulo, like Canelo, is coming off a rough loss, too.
This is a good test for Canelo, who wants to rebound after a tepid showing against pound-for-pound great "Money" Mayweather last fall, because he has never really faced a big-punching pressure guy quite like Angulo.
"ANGULO VS. CANELO" QUICK RESULTS:
154 lbs.: Saul Alvarez defeats Alfredo Angulo - TKO (0:47 round 10)
122 lbs.: Leo Santa Cruz defeats Cristian Mijares - Unanimous decision (120-108 x2, 119-109)
154 lbs.: Carlos Molina vs. Jermall Charlo - CANCELLED
135 lbs.: Jorge Linares defeats Nihito Arakawa - Unanimous decision (100-90 x2, 98-92)
140 lbs., Sergio Thompson defeats Ricardo Alvarez - Unanimous decision (95-93 x2, 97-91)
BIG UPDATE: In the PPV opener, Canelo's older brother Ricardo Alvarez (23-2-3, 14 KO) faces Sergio Thompson (28-3, 26 KO), a short-notice replacement for the injured Omar Figueroa. Alvarez-Thompson was bumped to the PPV portion of the show when Carlos Molina was detained and his fight with Jermall Charlo was canceled.
"ANGULO VS. CANELO" PLAY-BY-PLAY RESULTS:
Saul "Canelo" Alvarez vs. Alfredo Angulo Lopez
ROUND ONE: Fellas, we've been here over three hours already. Let's pick up the pace. It's gonna be Monday before we blink... ... ... Wow, it's been a good 25 minutes since the last fight. Angulo in black, Canelo in yellow. Angulo starts with a jab and Canelo gets in a left. Hook from Canelo. Left's almost exclusively from Alvarez to start. Liver and an uppercut. Angulo with some leads, but Canelo with heavier shots. Angulo with probing shots. More leads from Saul. There's a right. There's a right from Angulo. Canelo with a big right and a stiff jab. Sweet uppercut from Canelo. If you were hoping for an even match, folks, given what we've seen already, we're going to be disappointed it seems.
ROUND TWO: Soft jabs from Angulo, who doesn't seem to be punching hard until he sees an opening that Canelo isn't giving him. He thuds a body right, though. Canelo with a powerful liver shot and some major hooks. "Perro" is pawing at "Cinammon", and is looking lethargic at best. A right and a left stagger back Angulo. Rear hand uppercut from Canelo splits the arms. There's a couple of punches from Angulo, but his punches aren't thrown full force. 1-2-3 from Saul to end the round.
10-9 Alvarez. 20-18
ROUND THREE: I'm not sure what Angulo's gameplan coming into this fight was, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't to be a walking punching bag for Canelo to practice on. That's what we've got here so far. Hey, there's a couple of good punches from Angulo. Jeez, there's four from Canelo. Angulo gets in a nice combo, but then stops punching. For Pete's sake, this is brain damage in front of our eyes. Angulo is bleeding from his nose and has been knocked off balance about ten times this round. I don't know how long Alfredo can keep this up, but this hasn't been pretty so far.
10-9 Alvarez. 30-27
ROUND FOUR: The guy who's in charge of Angulo's Compu-Box stats is having an easy night. Canelo's man, however, is getting carpal tunnel. This is like... five-for-one punching here. Angulo is looking for accuracy over power, or something anyway, but he's just chewing down all the leather that Alvarez is feeding him. Nice couple of rights there from Saul. Liver shot landed clean.
10-9 Alvarez. 40-36
ROUND FIVE: Honestly, I want to file assault charges on behalf of Angulo right now. Jab, jab, jab, power straight right. Angulo starting to throw with power finally. Huge right from Canelo. Stiff jab and a left hook lands for Canelo. Alvarez is slowing down a bit, or possibly baiting him, but he's backing up now. The traffic is a lot more even now. The loud punches are all Saul, still.
10-9 Alvarez 50-45
ROUND SIX: We knew Angulo would stand in front of Alvarez, but we didn't think he'd stand there throwing half-power. He's backing down Alvarez, but pretty much whenever Saul wants, he hits Angulo hard. Canelo is missing a bit here now. Two minutes in, and neither man has done a lot of clean punching this round. Of course, Saul's done more. 2-3. Jab. Uppercut. Liver shot. They're all there for Saul.
10-9 Alvarez. 60-54
ROUND SEVEN: Alvarez hasn't really done all that much this fight, but neither has Angulo. Angulo is just following Canelo around the ring, trying to get in some punches. To quote Pablo XL from the comments section, this 'fight' so far can be summed up in four words... THUD! pitter patter THUD! I'm tempted to be nice to "Dog" and throw him a metaphorical bone, but his slightly better volume isn't gonna win this round, it just means he looks less worse than he was.
10-9 Alvarez. 70-63
ROUND EIGHT: Saul picking his spots. Alvarez has decided to spend some time working on his defense, shoulder rolling for about 30 seconds straight, then turning off the ropes and smashing in three punches. Angulo gets smashed and says "bring it on". Saul brings it on and then responds in kind! Saul is dropping his gloves and is lighting up Angulo as the crowd is going bonkers. Titanium chin on display by Angulo here, but not much else.
10-9 Alvarez. 80-72
ROUND NINE: Angulo looks a bit energized here, but then doesn't do anything with it. He's just exploding punches all over the face and torso of Angulo. There's finally a power overhand right from Angulo. There's cuts on both sides of the head of Angulo. He eats a big left and an uppercut. Canelo bobbing and weaving center ring. Saul's jab is bobbling Angulo's head. Saul showboats in the middle of the ring with his hands down.
ROUND TEN: Both the docs and Angulo's corner are warning him about stopping the fight. Good lefts from Angulo. Alvarez loads up an uppercut from the cheap seats that staggers back Angulo and referee Tony Weeks steps in to stop the fight. Angulo is mad, but he was getting obliterated. I have no problem with it.
Final Result: Saul "Canelo" Alvarez wins via TKO - 0:47 of round 10
Leo Santa Cruz vs. Cristian Mijares
ROUND ONE: Mijares in black with orange trim. Cruz in red and white. Nice right from Cruz. Mijares coming forward with a left. Cruz with the hands high. Very feeling out round here. Lots of jabs. Close round here. Light banging and an OK left from Cruz.
ROUND TWO: Both men getting in some pot shots here. Cruz coming in hard and getting in three shots. Mijares is eating quite a few shots here. He's not landed a lot and eaten a few already. Left, right, left from Leo. Mijares gets in a nice left. Mijares with a nice shiner already.
10-9 Cruz. 20-18
ROUND THREE: Jab from Cruz. He throws a lightning fast 1-2, but great defense from Mijares who bends at the waist and gets out of the ropes with little damage done. Cruz the aggressor here, cutting off the cage. Mijares with a nice lead uppercut. Santa Cruz gets in a 3 and a 2, both to the body. Cruz with a sweet right at the end of the round.
10-9 Cruz. 30-27
ROUND FOUR: Nice dirty boxing from Cruz, getting in short shots up tight. Accidental headbutt as they try and work in tight and Cruz has a cut on his eyebrow. Leo working the body. A left glances off the skull of Mijares. Cruz slips and Mijares tries to capitalize, but can't before Leo regains his balance. Right lands clean for Cruz. He's powering forward now. Big body shot hurts Mijares a bit. He's shelling up, blocking most of these punches, but not firing back. Nice 2-3 from Cruz.
10-9 Cruz. 40-36
ROUND FIVE: Cruz has it all right now, including a good-looking girlfriend that earns her some camera time between rounds. Mijares dancing around here, finally showing some movement. He's going a bit overboard on his bike and the crowd voices its disapproval. Body blow from Mijares. Right uppercut from Cruz. There's a clean lead hook, too. Forehead to forehead and Cruz ends that with a bullseye left. Mijares getting in some punches, but eating more.
10-9 Cruz. 50-45
ROUND SIX: I would kill for a knockout here, but at this weight class, that seems unlikely. Leo is landing his right, seemingly at will. There's a big one and Mijares is backing up against the ropes. Santa Cruz with a 3-piece combo and a biscuit to end yet another dominant round.
10-9 Cruz. 60-54
ROUND SEVEN: I want to quote Jim Lampley's epic fail commentary here, "There you go. Four-punch, five-punch, six-punch combination. Body shot, body shot, bang, bang, bang. Bang! Bang! Bang! Try and stop it! Bang! Bang! Here I come. Bang! You want to throw some time? Bang! This is the Manny Pacquiao who has dominated boxing for the past three years. Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! You want to throw back? Bang!" It's just an outclassing on a basic level. 5-piece combo and Mijares has a bloody nose to match his swollen eye. There's a nice left from the smaller Cristian. Ho hum dominance here.
10-9 Cruz. 70-63
ROUND EIGHT: Mijares finally trying a different gameplan now and coming forward. It's working a little better, as he's not on the end of every punch, but he's still not landing more than the champ. Both of them get in some decent lefts. This is the closest thing to a Mijares round that we've seen all night. Hell, I'll throw the man a metaphorical bone here and maybe make him happy.
10-9 Mijares. 79-73
ROUND NINE: Cruz has slowed down a bit here, and they're both slugging more now. Cruz showing his composure and changing his punching style to compensate with the slowdown. He's landing nice short rights as they are going toe-to-toe. Left from Cruz. Mijares catches and holds Cruz's left glove, but Leo just takes the opportunity to punch Mijares in the face three times in a row.
10-9 Cruz. 89-82
ROUND TEN: Cruz comes out lefty for a second there, but quickly goes back to orthodox. Three leads land for Cruz. He gets in a 2-3. Infighting here with both men having their moments. Slow-paced round.
10-9 Cruz. 99-91
ROUND ELEVEN: Honestly, if I'm Mijares' cornerman, I'm telling him he has one last round to show me something or I'm tossing in the towel. He's gotten shitcanned this entire fight. Left from Leo. Now the announcers voice the same opinion I have on the fight. Right from Cruz. Another one. A left. Mijares gets in a right.
10-9 Cruz 109-100
ROUND TWELVE: I could probably just write down that Leo's landing lefts and rights while Mijares is unable to get anything going and I'd be right. Yup. A minute and a half in, and what a shock. Cruz could probably just call his shot and land it and I wouldn't be surprised. This looks like a teacher schooling a B student on what a valedictorian looks like.
10-9 Cruz 119-109
Final Result: Leo Santa Cruz wins via unanimous decision 119-109, 120-108, 120-108
Jorge Linares vs. Nihito Arakawa
ROUND ONE: Linares in neon green. Arakawa in black. Linares is actually from Japan, having moved there as a kid. Jab from Arakawa. Nihito looking the quicker here. Right from Linares. Double jab up top and down low from Linares. Good right from Jorge with about 55 seconds left. Nihito gets in a straight right. Pretty even round.
ROUND TWO: Right to the body from Linares. They trade short uppercuts. Jab from Linares, but Arakawa steps back from a right. Clubbing left lands from Linares. Nihito jabs and Linares gets in a straight right. Linares holds the back of the head and gets in some uppercuts. The ref stops it and warns him.
10-9 Linares. 20-18
ROUND THREE: Linares is just getting in cleaner on the southpaw. Straight right from Linares. Jab and a straight as well. Nihito gets in a right that glances. Now he gets in a combo that gets the crowd a bit excited, but Linares steps out from the second flurry. Arakawa coming forward and getting in a left. Linares powers in a right to the body. Nihito with a flurry at the bell and I'll give him the round.
10-9 Arakawa. 29-28
ROUND FOUR: Uppercut from Arakawa but Linares gets in a nice lead hook. Linares gets a nice powerful right to the body and he uses it to flurry. Not a lot landing, but it looks good. There's a couple of rights from Linares. Linares has been getting the outside line with his right hand this round. There's one to the face. Nihito gets in a left. 1-2-3 from Arakawa, but all into the gloves and forearms of Linares.
10-9 Linares. 39-37
ROUND FIVE: They both combo, but Arakawa doesn't get in anything perfect, whilst Linares gets in a blocky left. Linares pivots off and hits a shot to the liver. Three body shots from Linares, while Arakawa gets in a solo shot of his own. Linares gets in the third punch of a combo. Nice right from Nihito. Jorge gets in a straight right near the end of the round.
10-9 Linares. 49-46
ROUND SIX: Arakawa seems to be unbalancing himself a bit with lunges into Linares' body. He's turning almost sideways with some of these. In close boxing now and there's some give and take, but again, Nihito is on the losing end of the fistic conversation. He's still got something to say, however, and is landing some. Nice left there, actually. Both men are showing some cuts now. Arakawa with a flurry to the body to end the round.
10-9 Linares. 59-55
ROUND SEVEN: Glancing low blow from Linares gets a warning, but Arakawa zombies straight through it. Uppercut from Arakawa. Linares with a lead left. Three-piece combo to Nihito's jaw right there. He fires back a left. Left-right from Linares.
10-9 Linares. 69-64
ROUND EIGHT: This is an unexciting, one-sided clinic that Linares is putting on display here. It's not really Jorge's fault that the man from Japan has an iron chin, as some of those shots would fell lesser men. Linares is connecting and moving like a scientist here. Nihito just isn't landing anything clean and Linares' return fire is smashing. Big flurry at the end for Arakawa and he finally gets in some flush.
A pity 10-9 Arakawa. 78-74
ROUND NINE: Arakawa is closing the distance, but has no power in close. Linares with a clean, straight right. Linares is bleeding by the eyebrow, unsure if it was from a punch or a headbutt, as they have clashed heads a few times. Arakawa waiving on Linares in a futile effort to get him to stand and wang. Nice flurry from Linares and he landed about four shots on the money.
10-9 Linares. 88-83
ROUND TEN: Arakawa going balls out here. Lands about four good ones before Linares gets in a nice uppercut. Thudding right from Linares. They're smiling and enjoying a bit of a brawl right now. Linares continues countering the over-aggressive Nihito. Linares with a good flurry. Right from Linares and a left to the body.
10-9 Linares. 98-92
Final Result: Jorge Linares wins via unanimous decision 98-92, 100-90, 100-90
Ricardo Alvarez vs. Sergio Thompson
ROUND ONE: Sergio Thompson in the red, white and green. Ricardo Alvarez in green with white trim. Thompson is coming out like the proverbial house on fire. Dude is throwing power and landing a ton of them. Big left overhand, body shot, uppercut to the body. Wow. Big right, and another left. Liver shot. Lawdy, he's throwing the house and Alvarez has managed to stay on his feet. Alvarez finally gets in a shot. Hot sauce, this is smoking early. Thompson still landing good.
ROUND TWO: A little better here for Alvarez. Using some length and getting "Yeyo" Thompson to eat some glove finally. Thompson going upstairs and downstairs. Alvarez swings and misses, Thompson fires back and Alvarez weaves away. Thompson getting in some nice shots to the rib cage and stomach. Nice 1-2 there as well. Now Alvarez getting in some combo work, landing 3, 4 in a row. Thompson patting some of the punches away and smiling. Thompson comes back with a thudding right that pushes Alvarez back. Thompson wins this portion of the round.
10-9 Alvarez, but it could go either way. 19-19
ROUND THREE: Thompson again with the 2 and 3 landing significantly here. Alvarez gets in a jab. Oof! A left and Alvarez stumbles into the ropes. The ropes hold him up and the ref steps in. Thompson is still swinging and gets a warning from the ref who turns to give Alvarez a standing eight. Nice straight left from Alvarez. Thompson still pounding away, but Alvarez covers and circles. His legs look fine now. Good 1-2 from Thompson. Thudding back and forth.
10-8 Thompson. 29-27
ROUND FOUR: This is still mostly one-way traffic right now with Thompson evading the end of Alvarez's jabs. Great left upstairs and a right to the breadbasket. Alvarez pumping out the jab, but not landing clean. Thompson with more clean 2-shot combos. Alvarez is not showing a lot of evasion here. There's some and they thud clean against each other. Thompson with another 3-2. Alvarez with a body shot. More top & bottom work for Thompson.
10-9 Thompson. 39-36
ROUND FIVE: Lot of jabs from both men here. Thompson looking a bit slower now. Thudding hooks from both men. Thompson getting in a nice left that gets Alvarez behind the ear. Liver shot from Alvarez. Slip from Alvarez against the ropes, but he's fine. Triple jab from Alvarez. Thompson now decides to evade the jabs, rather than bite down on his mouthpiece. Cross from Thompson, but he's throwing in solo shots only now. Alvarez isn't throwing with too much power at the moment, but he's certainly weathered the early storm and is landing straight punches now.
10-9 Alvarez. 48-46
ROUND SIX: Thompson has a bit more wind and comes out. Jabs from Alvarez. Hook from Thompson. Body shot and a jab from Thompson. Straights and quick jabs from Alvarez landing quite a bit now. Solid right and now a great combo from Thompson. Alvarez on the ropes. He weathers yet another storm and is back in center ring, pumping out jabs and straights. He's fighting a lot more economical, and Thompson has blown his load for this round now. His hands are dropping and he's eating some jabs. There's a nice right from Thompson. Nothing powerful from Alvarez, but he's landing punches.
10-9 Thompson. 58-55
ROUND SEVEN: Thompson is clearly tired, but Alvarez is a bit tired here, too. He's throwing crisp still, but not getting in much. He leaps in with a jab and gets Thompson up against the ropes. Left from Thompson. Alvarez is landing, 3, 4, 5... 9! 10! shots here! Uppercut, right, left, body. Nothing that's wobbling Thompson, who's eating and trying to evade, but Alvarez got a lot of punches in there. Thompson fires back and Alvarez backs off. He misses with a big shot and Thompson gets one back. Liver shot from Thompson. Grazing headbutt. Overhand from Alvarez at the buzzer.
10-9 Alvarez. 67-65
ROUND EIGHT: Well that was nice. HUGE counter right from Thompson plants Alvarez on his butt as Alvarez went to jab. So much for getting right back into this. Thompson stalking here. He's tired, but landing a couple punches here and there. Body shot from Thompson. Alvarez circling on the outside. Body right from Thompson but he misses a 1-2. Left from Alvarez. Jab to the body and one to the head from Yeyo. Again. Alvarez gets in a solid right.
10-8 Thompson. 77-73
ROUND NINE: Alvarez jabbing. He backs Thompson into the ropes and tries to get in some, but isn't throwing his all into it. Right from Thompson. Nice uppercut from Alvarez. Thompson gets in a clean 1-2. Stiff jab from Alvarez buckles Thompson's knee, but he stays upright. Huge right from Thompson that gets some approval from the crowd. Alvarez is getting in some punches here and there, but nearly every 5 or 10 seconds, he eats a power punch from Thompson. Close round, but I'll say it's Yeyo's.
10-9 Thompson 87-82
ROUND TEN: Final round here. Alvarez has one last chance here to win this WBC international belt. Alvarez on the aggression and he's throwing with as much heat as he can muster. This is Thompson's wheelhouse, however and they're both slamming in punches. Thompson being cautious here, knowing he's ahead. The ref steps in and Alvarez clips him in the back of the head. Thompson is complaining about the back of the head and the ref nearly stops the fight despite the complaints of Thompson. Thompson being a bit defensive here with those two knockdowns in the books. BIG right from Thompson. Another one. Thompson either slips or got caught by a right and he nearly goes down, but stays upright and starts clowning a bit. Thompson on his bike now, and it looks like he's got it.
10-9 Thompson 97-91
Final Result: Sergio "Yeyo" Thompson wins via unanimous decision 95-93, 95-93, 97-91