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Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez too much for Matthew Hatton

The 20-year-old Mexican faces little resistance in his victory and becomes the youngest super-welterweight champion in history.

March 05, 2011|By Lance Pugmire
  • Saul Alvarez connects with a left hook the head of Matthew Hatton during the first round of their WBC super-welterweight title fight at Honda Center in Anaheim.
Saul Alvarez connects with a left hook the head of Matthew Hatton during… (Jae C. Hong / Associated…)

Saul "Canelo" Alvarez of Mexico made his expected history Saturday, becoming the youngest super-welterweight boxing champion of all time.

The 20-year-old, red-headed sudden star from Guadalajara dominated the smaller Matthew Hatton at Honda Center, winning the World Boxing Council 154-pound belt by lopsided scores of 119-108 on all three judges' scorecards.

Alvarez (36-0-1) not only landed nearly half of his punches on Hatton (41-5-2), he battered the British kid brother of former two-division champion Ricky Hatton 257-75 in power punches.

"This was a good experience for me, the title," Alvarez said in the ring afterward. "It's the first of many. I want to fight the biggest and the best. I'm going to be the next big name of Mexico."

One of Alvarez's power shots might have been a cheap shot — he suffered a one-point deduction for hitting after the break — but Matthew Hatton clearly showed the toll of being continually battered.

He sought an extended rest by kneeling on the mat and holding the ropes after late punches by Alvarez in the seventh and 10th rounds.

Alvarez, forced to pay Hatton a 10% purse penalty Friday for weighing in more than the contractually agreed-upon catch weight of 150 pounds, never hesitated to call upon the power of his size, backing Hatton to the ropes in the second round.

Hatton would press forward, but by the fourth round he had been hit so hard and so often that his nose was bleeding, drawing roars from a crowd expecting the sensational knockout they were deprived of.

Maybe it's conditioning, and a note for Alvarez's future, because he clearly eased off the gas in the fifth and didn't get back to battering Hatton until the seventh. Alvarez followed his point deduction with a hurtful right and an assault that again backed Hatton to the ropes off a "Canelo" hook, and it appeared his eyes rolled backward after another hard right.

The story then became Hatton's grit, and in a tribute to kid brothers everywhere he remained stubbornly standing despite a battering in the 10th that left him slobbering at the bell.

"He's just too big," Hatton said. "I want to go back to my natural weight."

Also Saturday, Adrien Broner might not have pleased everyone on his grandest stage yet, but for a 21-year-old to walk into adversarial ground and claim a unanimous decision against a bigger puncher, it's clear what those proclaiming his bright future are looking at.

Producing a strong if not entirely appetizing defensive effort that brought comparisons to Floyd Mayweather Jr., Cincinnati's Broner ended the seven-fight winning streak of Mexico's former world champion Daniel Ponce De Leon with a unanimous decision victory.

Judge Tony Crebs scored it 99-91 in Broner's favor, but Raul Caiz Jr. and David Denkin had it 96-94 as Broner improved to 20-0 with the super-featherweight triumph.

The crucial measuring stick appeared to be accuracy, as Broner connected on 36% of his punches compared to Ponce De Leon's 21%, even though Ponce De Leon (41-3) landed a 119-101 edge in power punches, according to CompuBox.

"I thought I won seven of the 10 rounds," Ponce De Leon said.

Four of the five HBO undercard bouts were over before the second round.

Unbeaten middleweight James Kirkland, fighting for the first time in two years after a prison term following a conviction on a gun charge, recorded a first-round knockout of New York's Ashandi Gibbs.

The 26-year-old Kirkland (26-0, 23 knockouts) is already slated for another fight next month on the Erik Morales-Marcos Maidana undercard in Las Vegas.

Super-middleweight Daniel Jacobs also took a noteworthy step on his own comeback from a surprising technical-knockout loss last year to Dmitriy Pirog in a world title fight.

Brooklyn's Jacobs (22-1, 19 KOs) joined the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood under the direction of famed trainer Freddie Roach. In his first Roach bout, Jacobs scored a first-round knockout of Robert Kleiwer.

Heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell, a former Michigan State linebacker, improved to 21-0-1 with his second-round TKO of Tucson's Charles Davis — who, like Kleiwer, took a losing record into the bout.

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

twitter.com/latimespugmire

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