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Mexican champ retains undisputed crown by decision

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Mexican champ retains undisputed crown by decision

LAS VEGAS — Canelo Alvarez spent all fight week explaining that he’s just different and was levels above his aggressive, unbeaten opponent in Mexican countryman Jaime Munguia.

It turned out, he was right.

Alvarez (61-2-2, 39 KOs) made the fourth defense of his undisputed super middleweight title on Saturday in a masterful yet grueling unanimous decision to hand Munguia (43-1) his first pro defeat. The 33-year-old Mexican icon took home judges’ scores of 117-110, 116-111 and 115-112. CBS Sports scored it 118-109 for Alvarez.

The fight headlined a Cinco de Mayo weekend card inside T-Mobile Arena as Alvarez faced off against a fellow Mexican-born opponent for the first time since he dominated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in 2017.

Despite a hot start from the upstart Munguia, a 27-year-old native of Tijuana who is trained by Hall-of-Famer Freddie Roach, Alvarez rallied to floor his opponent with a beautiful right uppercut in Round 4 just as Munguia was heating up. Despite plenty of phonebooth action the rest of the way, the speed and accuracy of Alvarez’s counter shots proved to be the difference.

“It means a lot. I wanted to thank Jaime for this opportunity,” Alvarez said. “He’s a great guy and a great champion and will go on to do very good. All the world was watching us, the Mexicans and I am proud. Viva Mexico!”

The pro-Mexican crowd was split throughout as it traded competing chants of both boxers’ names. But Alvarez initially turned the crowd from cheers to lustful boos during the post-fight interview when he was asked about fighting unbeaten, two-time champion David Benavidez next, who was seated at ringside.

Alvarez fielded the boos with a defiant reaction before stating clearly what his true intentions are moving forward.

“Right now, I want to rest and enjoy with my family,” Alvarez said, to trigger the boos. “If the money is right, I can fight right now. I don’t give a shit. At this point, everybody is asking for everything. When I fought with [Erislandy] Lara, it was, ‘You need to fight [Miguel] Cotto.’ I fought all of them. I fought [Gennadiy] Golovkin and [Sergey] Kovalev.

“I can ask whatever I want right now and I can do whatever I want. And I am Mexican.”

Munguia, who was fresh off a breakthrough knockout of John Ryder in January (the same fighter who pushed Alvarez the distance in 2023), continued his evolution under Roach. The fan-friendly brawler was much more patient in the early going and began finding big success as the visibly bigger fighter in Round 3 by walking Alvarez down with combinations and constantly pinning him to the ropes.

But once Alvarez made an adjustment to his timing in Round 4, using the combination of a flush uppercut and a short left hook to the body to drop Munguia, the momentum instantly swung in the champion’s favor.

“I take my time, that’s why I have a lot of experience,” Alvarez said. “He’s a great fighter and is smart but I take my time. He’s a little slow, I can see every punch. That’s why I’m the best, right?

“I don’t consider myself the best fighter ever but I’m the best fighter right now.”

After Alvarez controlled the middle rounds by lowering Munguia’s output and landing constant flush counter shots at close range, Munguia never folded. In fact, he rallied a bit during the championship rounds and undoubtedly raised his stock as an elite boxer moving forward.

“I came out well but I think at the beginning, I was winning some of those rounds,” Munguia said. “It was going well and I let my hands go but he was a fighter with a lot of experience, obviously. The loss hurts, it definitely hurts.

“I started well but I obviously had some problems.”

Although Munguia was busy throughout and attempted 127 more punches than Alvarez, according to CompuBox, it was the champion who landed 64 more. Alvarez outlanded his opponent to the tune of 234 to 170 and connected on an incredible 50% of his power shots overall.

The undercard saw a trio of title fights where the champions retained their crowns as well. Mario Barrios outpointed Fabian Maidana to hold onto his WBC interim welterweight title in a fight he had firm control over from the start. Brandon Figueroa scored a ninth-round TKO of Jessie Magdaleno with a vicious body shot to retain his WBC interim featherweight title. And Eimantas Stanionis outlasted Gabriel Maestre to keep the WBA “regular” welterweight title in the PPV opener.

CBS Sports was with you throughout the entire way on Saturday with the live results and highlights below.�

Fight card, results

  • Canelo Alvarez (c) def. Jaime Munguia via unanimous decision (117-110, 116-111, 115-112)
  • Mario Barrios (c) def. Fabian Maidana via unanimous decision (116-111, 116-111, 116-11)
  • Brandon Figueroa (c) def. Jessie Magdaleno via ninth-round TKO�
  • Eimantas Stanionis (c) def. Gabriel Maestre (117-111, 118-110, 119-109)

Alvarez vs. Munguia scorecard, live coverage

Alvarez (c) 10 10 9 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 9 10 118
Munguia 9 9 10 8 9 9 9 9 9 9 10 9 109

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