***TO WATCH FULL "CANELO VS. LARA" FIGHT VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS CLICK HERE.***
It was damn close and will likely spark quite a bit of debate, but Saul "Canelo" Alvarez came out on top in a clash of the best junior middleweights on the planet, narrowly defeating Cuban standout Erislandy Lara in the "Honor & Glory" Showtime boxing pay-per-view (PPV) event last Saturday night (July 12, 2014) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Get full results and round-by-round action here.
Lara started strong, using his footwork to steer clear of the ropes and take potshots at the plodding Alvarez. After a few rounds of whiffing though, Alvarez dialed in on the body, landing powerful hooks and right hands every time Lara got within his reach.
The fact that he opened a cut over Lara's right eye with a gorgeous uppercut definitely helped.
Just as he seemed to be wilting under the onslaught to the body, his output waning and footwork slowing down, Lara put his foot back on the pedal, once again circling well and landing powerful straight left hands. Though Canelo did continue landing to the body, he found Lara harder and harder to catch, fulfilling Lara's pre-fight claim that he would take Alvarez into deep water.
Unfortunately he waited a bit too long to drown Canelo, as he wound up on the wrong end of a split decision on scores of 115-113 Alvarez (fair), 115-113 Lara (fair), and 117-111 (I want whatever he's smoking).
There's going to be a lot of disagreement about this fight, about whether Lara's constant motion constituted "running" and whether his ring generalship was worth more than the audibly powerful body shots Canelo was feeding him. I scored it a draw and don't quite have the energy to get properly mad at anyone, so I recommend just sitting on the sidelines and watching the debate unfold.
The four-fight PPV also included a dull-but-successful performance by Abner Mares against Jonathan Oquendo, an entertaining slugfest between Francisco Vargas and Juan Manuel Lopez that saw "Juanma's" corner stop it after a rough round, and a decent scrap between Mauricio Herrera and Johan Perez where the former took home the majority decision win.
For quick results and round-by-round coverage of the night's proceedings click here.