Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez throws a left hook against Alfredo Angulo… (Kevork Djansezian / Getty…)
Saul ”Canelo” Alvarez showed that he is still a big force in boxing Saturday night with a dominating performance that ended by technical knockout of Alfredo Angulo with 47 seconds gone in the 10th round at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
While the outcome was not in doubt, with Alvarez dominating eight of the nine previous rounds, most in attendance were surprised when referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight. Angulo did not appear to be in any short-term danger, although he was clearly a beaten fighter with two swollen eyes.
“The referee stopped the fight, not my problem,” said Alvarez after the fight.
The crowd booed lustily but it did not change what likely would have been the ultimate outcome -- a decisive victory for Alvarez.
For Alvarez, it took the sting off a clear loss to Floyd Mayweather in his last fight.
Here's a round-by-round recap of the bout (scoring is unofficial):
Round 1: Alvarez came out punching, throwing combinations with a fire rarely seen this early in a fight. Despite the activity, Alvarez did not land a punch that did any damage. Angulo, showing he is not just along for the paycheck, threw a flurry of combinations with 20 seconds left in the round but it was not enough the change the early tenor of the fight. Alvarez wins the round, 10-9.
Round 2: This round does not start with the intensity of the first but it is clear that Alvarez is in charge. He lands a couple of rights that leave an impression, although they do not appear to do any long-lasting damage. Alvarez has not been hit with a punch that seems to have any effect. Alvarez wins round, 10-9. Alvarez leads, 20-18.
Round 3: Alvarez is pretty much connecting with every punch he throws. He is starting to mix in some left hooks with his strong rights. Angulo rallies with about 45 seconds left with a good body shot but it only seems to rally Alvarez, who connects with a straight right that established his dominance in the fight. Alvarez wins round, 10-9. Alvarez leads, 30-27.
Round 4: Angulo continues to absorb punishing shots, making the oddsmakers who established Alvarez a 7-1 favorite as knowing what was coming. Angulo puts forth a slight rally with about 30 seconds remaining but it only seems to irritate Alavrez, who follows with a tough combination that shows he is still in charge. It is Angulo’s best round but still not enough. Alvarez wins round, 10-9. Alvarez leads, 40-36.
Round 5: Angulo’s eye is starting to swell because of the pounding he is taking from Alvarez. The intensity with which Alvarez opened the fight has started to subside but it’s no question whose fight it is to win. This is probably the least lively of all the rounds. It is also Angulo’s best round as he absorbs the least punishment. Alvarez wins round 10-9. Alvarez leads, 50-45.
Round 6: Alvarez continues to dominate with his left hook, and the speed of his punches is making the fight very one-sided. Angulo is throwing punches but none seem to be doing any damage. Still, Angulo has a late flurry that may have given him his only round of the fight. Angulo wins round, 10-9. Alvarez leads, 59-55.
Round 7: Alvarez seems to have awoken after a somewhat lethargic sixth round with a couple of good combinations. Still, the promise of a knockout from the early rounds seems to have dissipated. Angulo appears to still have enough energy while Alvarez may have lost some of his early fire. But, without a doubt, it’s just a question of if Angulo can win more than a round or two. Alvarez wins round, 10-9. Alvarez leads, 69-64.
Round 8: This round seems to have the best exchanges of the fight, with Angulo throwing punches that have awoken Alvarez from a workmanlike performance. The two stand toe to toe, exchanging punches late in the round but it is clear that Alvarez has the power to dominate whatever Angulo sends his way. Alvarez wins round, 10-9. Alvarez leads, 79-73.
Round 9: Few expected this fight to go this long and it is unclear if it is Alvarez’s inability to finish an opponent or Angulo’s tough exterior. There's no doubt that Angulo does not have the stuff to stop Alvarez. But Alvarez, despite showing superior strength, has yet to land a punch to put Angulo down. Alvarez wins round, 10-9. Alvarez leads, 89-82.
Round 10: Alvarez wins by technical knockout, in somewhat surprising fashion, 47 seconds into the round. He certainly had been dominating the fight. It was a rocking left hand that caused referee Tony Weeks to stop the fight. The crowd certainly thought it was too early to stop and Angulo did seem able to continue despite a pair of swollen eyes. While it’s no doubt Alvarez would win the fight the stoppage caught most by surprise. Not surprisingly, Angulo reacted with much displeasure but the decision had already been made and the outcome unlikely to change.