Canelo Alvarez Turns Away Jaime Munguia to Remain Undisputed King at 168


By David A. Avila

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez remains Mexico’s top fighter and the undisputed super middleweight world champion with a resounding victory by unanimous decision over the hard-charging Jaime Munguia on Saturday.

If Mexico had a monarchy Alvarez would be king.

“I am the best Mexican fighter,” said Alvarez.

An announced crowd of 17,492 saw Guadalajara’s Alvarez (61-2-2, 39 KOs) patiently analyze the battle plan of Tijuana’s Munguia’s (43-1, 34 KOs) and then unravel it methodically every round at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

It was a battle for Mexico that pitted two dangerous fighters with Munguia entering the prize ring undefeated and hungry to establish himself as Mexico’s new power. He just wasn’t ready.

After Munguia opened up quickly behind a solid jab and combinations, Alvarez calmly blocked and parried the Tijuana fighter’s attacks for three rounds and then it happened.

After success in the first three rounds Munguia opened up with another attack in the fourth that Alvarez calmly timed and snapped a right uppercut to the chin that floored the Tijuana fighter for the first time in his career. He got up from the knockdown and was able to stave off a further Canelo attack.

The momentum suddenly changed and for good.

Alvarez stalked Munguia every round with a more aggressive approach and sometimes set traps for counters. Though the Mexican redhead found success he was unable to floor the taller Munguia again. But he did come close including the seventh when a left hook to the body visibly hurt Munguia. He survived.

It must have been frustrating for Munguia whose improvement in his boxing skills have been noticeable in his last three fights. Even in this fight his ability to defend and return fire against Canelo’s clever moves was a vast improvement over his career three years ago. But its not enough when battling one of the best fighters pound-for- pound in the world.

Four-division world champion Alvarez strategically proved his skills are another level that only a few today possess. It was a valuable lesson for Munguia to learn the same lesson Canelo received against Floyd Mayweather a decade ago.

Experience counts.

“He’s a fighter with a lot of experience,” said Munguia who had hoped his youth and stamina would help against the 33-year-old Alvarez.

Canelo said Munguia was a great fighter and very strong.

“I take my time,” said Alvarez “He’s strong but a little slow I saw every punch.”

Though it was the fifth consecutive fight without a knockout, Alvarez was satisfied with the unanimous decision to keep the WBO, WBA, WBC and IBF super middleweight titles. It was the first time two Mexican super middleweights fought for all the titles.

Alvarez said this win again proves he can fight whoever he chooses after fighting boxing greats like Miguel Cotto, Mayweather and other champions.

“I can do whatever I want to do,” said Alvarez.

Other Bouts

Mario Barrios (29-2, 18 KOs) floored Fabian Maidana (22-3, 16 KOs) in the third round but found the hard-punching Argentine too tough to finish off. Instead, he used a steady stream of jabs to win by unanimous decision after 12 rounds.


A touch left followed by a rifle right cross dropped Maidana. Instead of giving up, the younger brother of the great Marcos Maidana unleashed his own big blows to force Barrios into a more careful strategic fight mode. Especially after one or two blows caused a swelling on his right eye.

But Maidana never could find the antidote for Barrios’s jab that won the majority of the rounds for the San Antonio, Texas fighter. After 12 rounds all three judges scored it 116-111 for Barrios who keeps the interim welterweight title.

After a sluggish start, Brandon Figueroa (25-1-1, 19 KOs) found his footing midway through the super bantamweight match against Jesse Magdaleno (29-3, 18 KOs) and ended the match with a one-punch belt to the body to win the battle of former champions.

Magdaleno took the lead in the fight with clever boxing but slowly Figueroa cranked up his punch out-put and while during a furious exchange the fighter from Weslaco, Texas connected with a left to the body. Magdaleno could not beat the count at 2:59 of the ninth round.

Figueroa retains the interim super bantamweight title.

Eimantas Stanionis (15-0, 9 KOs) used a power jab to separate from Venezuela’s Gabriel Maestre (6-1-1, 5 KOs) to retain the WBA welterweight world title by unanimous decision.

Despite two years from a ring appearance, Stanionis was able to out-work Maestre, a 37-year-old who was fighting for his first world title. Both had faced each other years ago as amateurs.

No knockdowns were scored but the fast-paced fight was won by the busier Stanionis whose jab was his primary weapon. All three scores favored the Lithuanian fighter 117-111, 118-110, 119-109.

Photo credit: Al Applerose
Munguia was a worthy challenger and he came to win but he ran into a great fighter who is still great. Canelo definitely still has it. Mungia will learn from this experience and come back even better. It’s funny to think we were sold on the notion that he was too fragile for GGG. The opposite I think was true and it was Golovkin being protected. 😱