SAN DIEGO, March 9, 2014 – Saul “Canelo” Alvarez bounced back from his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. with a dominating performance over Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo Saturday, ending in a stoppage at 47 seconds of the tenth round.
The surprising halt to the fight came when referee Tony Weeks stepped in after Alvarez snapped Angulo’s head back with a single left upper cut. The crowd, which had been enjoying an action-packed fight, howled in protest. Angulo and his trainer Virgil Hunter expressed their disappointment, later questioning Weeks about his decision in a respectful post-fight conversation in the ring.
But El Perro had been fed a steady diet of punches for nine prior rounds, eating hooks, upper cuts and body shots from all angles by Alvarez from the opening bell. There was no reason to let Angulo continue to take nine more minutes of punishment.
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With the near death of Mago Abdusalamov on everyone’s mind, who was allowed to finish a brutal fight and is now fighting to recover from permanent damage, fans cannot question the motivation behind the decision. They are not in the ring. Referee Weeks did not decide this fight. A powerful, aggressive, determined Canelo Alvarez decided this fight from the start.
Nevada State Athletic Commission chairman Francisco Aguilar told Showtime’s Jim Gray after the fight that referee Weeks made the decision in consultation with the ring physician, who had come into the ring several times to examine Angulo.
““We can always analyze after the decision is made. Our job is as a commission to ensure the health and safety of the fighter. This is one of those situations where we’re going to take safety over the crowd’s opinion of what the issue is.
“You always want the fans to have a good show, to understand what’s taking place. They want to see a fighter win outright. We don’t want the referee to determine what the outcome of a fight is. But when it comes to a safety decision, they’re going to make that decision. It may be a hard decision, as we all know it is tonight,“ said Aguilar.
Alvarez (43-1-0, 31 KOs) did exactly what he needed to do and then some with his overpowering win over Angulo (22-4, 18 KOs). He was far more aggressive in the early rounds than in his prior fights, seemingly landing power shots on Angulo at will. Angulo could not set his feet properly to punch Alvarez with authority, and could not hurt him.
Angulo is a much loved fighter and respected for his heart and determination. But he was hampered by a lack of speed in addition to a lack of power. For whatever reason, he didn’t perform up to expectations He would have fought to the bitter end if the referee had allowed him to do it but there truly was no point.
Alvarez avoided a direct answer about his plans. Might they including Erislandy Lara, who beat Angulo last July? Better yet, could there be a fight down the road against Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin at the end of the year? The cold war between Golden Boy Promotions/Showtime and Top Rank Promotions/HBO would need to thaw, but the heat from a Triple G vs. Canelo fight might do it.
The much hyped undercard produced little real action and no surprises. Leo Santa Cruz (27-0-1, 18 KOs) got an easy shutout victory on the scorecards with a unanimous decision over the former champion Cristian Mijares of Mexico (48-8-2, 3 KOs). Santa Cruz says he wants Carl Frampton next.
Jorge Linares (36-3, 23 KOs) easily contained Nihito Arakawa (24-4-1, 16 KOs) in their lightweight fight, making him the number one contender and a mandatory opponent for Omar Figueroa in the near future. Arakawa was active but simply couldn’t get to Linares.
The fill-in fight on the televised undercard was the best of the three. Sergio Thompson won after stepping in for Figueroa, who was supposed to face Ricardo Alvarez. Thompson said before the fight he wanted to get a knockout because he was afaid the judges would favor the famous nam of Alvarez, older brother of Canelo. He didn’t get the KO but he dominated in an action packed fight. Yet on two cards, he barely won, 95 to 93. The third card was 98-91 and that’s more like it.
Showtime said it had modest expectations for the pay per view buys on this fight. Good thing. Although the main event was an excellent fight, it’s hard for fans to justify coughing up $50 (and $60 for HD) for a one-sided card like this. Think twice next time, guys.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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