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Recap! Canelo Alvarez cruises past Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. last night

Canelo Alvarez v Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

That was kinda lame ...

Despite a size disadvantage, Canelo Alvarez had zero issues last night in Las Vegas, Nevada, sweeping fellow Mexican rival Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. over 12 one-sided, drama-free rounds.

Chavez Jr. (50-4-1, 32 KO) had one and only one path to victory: Forcing Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KO) onto the back foot and bullying with body punches. He did exactly none of that, basically serving as a mobile punching back for “Canelo” through the first six rounds. He showed a bit of life after that point, but every attempted flurry saw Canelo knock him back across the ring with heavy combinations.

At no point was Canelo even remotely troubled and at no point did Chavez show the necessary desperation and willingness to take incoming fire that he needed. In the end, all three judges gave Alvarez all 12 rounds. He moves on to a potential showdown with Gennady Golovkin in September, while Chavez will have to ask himself why he couldn’t pull the trigger in the biggest fight of his career.

In the co-feature, Canadian puncher David Lemieux had quite a bit more trouble than expected with designated victim Marcos Reyes, settling for a unanimous decision win.

Lemieux (38-3, 33 KO) came out like always, stalking Reyes (35-5, 26 KO) and hurling ridiculously hard punches. He very nearly got Reyes out in a brutal third round, but Reyes’ refusal to go away punished the energy Lemieux expended going for the early finish. Reyes relentlessly came at him with long sequences of arm punches and shrugged off blows that by all rights should have taken his head clean off his shoulders.

Reyes’ volume saw him pick up a round or two, but his inability to hurt Lemieux left him on the wrong end of multiple 10-9s despite Lemieux’s visible fatigue. There’s only so much you can do when your punches can’t even rattle a guy and his punches look like they should kill you.

Lemieux now finds himself with Alvarez in his crosshairs, although it remains to be seen how they’ll deal with the Golovkin-shaped elephant in the room.

Lucas Matthysse made a triumphant return to the ring in the second feature, which saw him hand the very capable Emmanuel Taylor the first stoppage loss of his career.

The fight had something of a cyclical nature. Taylor (20-5, 14 KO) looked en route to taking control of the fight, only for a huge punch to put the fear of God in him and allow Matthysse (38-4, 35 KO) to bully him around the ring until he got his confidence back and Matthysse hurt him again. A right hand hurt Taylor in the first, another right knocked him down in the second, and Matthysse controlled the fight with pressure until a left hook sent Taylor down once again in the fifth.

Taylor beat the count despite getting hit with some gnarly shots on the way down, but wasn’t lucid enough for the referee’s liking.

This win is Matthysse’s first since losing to Viktor Postol in October of 2015. Taylor wasn’t a true welterweight, but he was a very good fighter who had the tools to exploit Matthysse’s lingering issues. Though it remains to be seen how effective “La Maquina” can be at the age of 34, it’s good to see him wrecking people again.

Former Olympian Joseph Diaz Jr. opened the show with an impressive decision over fellow prospect Manuel Avila. Diaz’s (24-0, 13 KO) speed, accuracy, and combination punching paid early dividends, but Avila (22-1, 8 KO) clawed his way back in with aggression and sharp right hands. Early in the fifth, however, one of Diaz’s many right hands opened a cut on Avila’s left eyelid and blunted his aggression, leaving him at the mercy of Diaz’s onslaught. Regular body shots further damaged Avila’s capacity for offense and Diaz spent the latter half of the fight cruising to victory.

Diaz is currently ranked number seven by the IBF; hopefully, we’ll see him in against champion Lee Selby sometime soon.

For quick results and round-by-round coverage of the night’s proceedings, click here.

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