Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, left, defeated Alfredo Angulo by TKO… (Eric Jamison / Associated…)
LAS VEGAS — Saul "Canelo" Alvarez wanted to display his boxing heart after suffering his first defeat. The best way to do that was to show his fists.
In an impressive display of power punching and an unflinching willingness to exchange with a knockout fighter, Alvarez on Saturday night dominated Mexican countryman Alfredo Angulo and won their light-middleweight fight by 10th-round technical knockout.
The fight's stoppage at the 47-second mark of the 10th by referee Tony Weeks was the subject of much jeering by the capacity crowd of 14,610 at MGM Grand Garden Arena, who wanted more from the intense exchanges in a bout that lived up to its billing.
"The referee is impartial, he has the order," Alvarez said. "I was ready to finish the fight. I was in his territory, able to go toe to toe with him. Tonight, I was the best fighter."
Weeks stepped in after Alvarez (43-1-1) wound up and blasted Angulo (22-4) on the bottom of the jaw bone with a left-handed uppercut, Angulo's head snapping back as it had on at least half a dozen occasions during the fight.
Angulo objected as Weeks embraced him and tapped him on the shoulder, telling him, "No, no," to the idea of continuing a bout that Angulo was clearly getting the worse of.
"I'm upset because they should have let the fight go on. I'm fine and I was fighting," Angulo said. "The referee was wrong this time."
At the stoppage, however, Alvarez out-landed Angulo in total punches, 295-104, and 197-78 in power punches. Alvarez led on all three judges' scorecards, 89-82, 89-82, 88-83, when Weeks stopped it.
Alvarez, after losing a one-sided majority decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September in which he was criticized for not being aggressive enough in his pursuit of the slick defensive tactician, stood in the middle of the ring and repeatedly produced the more powerful punches than the slugger Angulo.
Earlier, Leo Santa Cruz (27-0-1) widened his lead as Los Angeles' top pound-for-pound boxer.
The unbeaten World Boxing Council super-bantamweight champion successfully defended his belt for the second time Saturday night at MGM Grand, dominating former bantamweight world champion Cristian Mijares (49-8-2).
Judges Adalaide Byrd (120-108), Glenn Trowbridge (120-108) and John McKaie (119-109) confirmed Santa Cruz's superiority by unanimous decision.
Alvarez's older brother, Ricardo, a lightweight, was knocked down in the third and eighth rounds of his unanimous-decision loss to Mexico's Sergio Thompson, who replaced injured Omar Figueroa on the card.
Thompson (29-3) began battering Alvarez (23-3-3) in the first round, delivering a right flush to the jaw, dazing Alvarez. He was given a knockdown by sending Alvarez helplessly to the ropes in the third round, then capped further punishment with a hard right that resulted in a knockdown.
In another lightweight bout, Jorge Linares, formerly of the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, dominated Japan's Nihito Arakawa, winning a decision by scores of 98-92, 100-90, 100-90.
Earlier, South El Monte's Joseph Diaz Jr., a 2012 U.S. Olympian, improved to 9-0, recording his seventh knockout with a fifth-round TKO of Puerto Rico's Jovany Fuentes.