Canelo Alvarez retains undisputed championship with unanimous decision over Jaime Munguia

LAS VEGAS — The question of whether Canelo Alvarez can any longer knock out anyone likely won’t go away his victory by unanimous decision Saturday night, but he remains the undisputed super middleweight champion because he was the stronger and more effective boxer.

Alvarez (61-2-2), who closed as a minus-380 favorite at BetMGM, overcame a somewhat slow start to dominate and hand Jaime Munguia (43-1) his first loss.

The champ took full control after knocking down Munguia in the fourth round before the announced crowd of 17,492, which was fairly evenly split between the two competitors.

Tim Cheatham scored the fight 117-110, David Sutherland had it 116-111 and Steve Weisfeld 115-112.

“When I retire, my numbers will say what position I’m in,” Alvarez said. “I know there’s a lot of great Mexican fighters in the past, but I’m the best fighting right now.”

This is the second straight time that Alvarez left no doubt who was the better fighter and showing why, even at 33, he remains one of the sport’s all-time greats. Alvarez also had his way with Jermell Charlo in September to win by even wider margins.

These two fights followed two victories and a loss that were anything but impressive. While Alvarez showed he still is the class of his division, he still hasn’t delivered a knockout since defeating Caleb Plant in 2021 — a span of five matches.

Alvarez was circumspect regarding what he might do next, saying he’ll return to the ring “if the money is right.”

“I’ve fought everyone and I can do what I want,” he said.

The lead-up to the bout was unusually civil, with both fighters saying they were proud to represent Mexico on Cinco de Mayo weekend.

“This win means a lot,” Alvarez said. “I’m glad that I gave him this opportunity. Munguia is a great guy and a great champion. He’s going to have a great career. I’m very proud that all the Mexicans are here watching us.”

Alvarez saved his harshest criticism during week not for his opponent, but for Munguia’s promoter. Oscar De La Hoya used to be in Alvarez’s corner, but they clearly are on opposite sides now and nearly even came to blows Wednesday at the news conference after trading allegations.

The 27-year-old Munguia the more aggressive boxer the first three rounds, even getting Alvarez into the ropes in the third. Alvarez, though, showed in the fourth he wasn’t going anywhere, using a left and then a right to the face to send Munguia to the canvass with 38 seconds left to change the tenor of the fight.

Alvarez then proceeded to sting Munguia over the next four rounds with shots to the face. Munguia put together his own sets of flurries, but they did little noticeable damage to Alvarez.

That is until the ninth round when Munguia landed some blows to the face that sent Alvarez backward, even into the corner at one point. But Alvarez responded with his own combinations, including coming out of the corner, in the fight’s most action-packed round.

The 10th and 11th rounds were close, but largely the same trends followed of Alvarez delivering the harder shots.

Munguia came out in the final round as if he knew he was trailing on the judges’ cards, but did little to change the outcome. It was Alvarez who again came through with the best blows, using a combination with about a minute left to Munguia’s head and following with several more shots to end the fight.

“I came out strong and was winning the early rounds,” Munguia said. “I let my hands go, but he’s a fighter with a lot of experience. The loss hurts because it’s my first loss and I felt strong.”

In the other main-card fights:

— San Antonio’s Mario Barrios (29-2) successfully defended his WBC interim world welterweight title by defeating Argentinian Fabian Maidana (22-3) by unanimous decision in the co-main event. Each judge scored the bout 116-111.

Barrios prevailed despite fighting with his right eye nearly completely closed.

“Maidana fought hard for 12 rounds like I expected,” Barrios said. “Once my eye started swelling up, it was hard to find my range. But we stuck to the fundamentals, tried to find openings and came out with the victory.”

— WBC interim world featherweight champion Brandon Figueroa (25-1-1, 19 KOs) of Welasco, Texas, knocked out Jessie Magdaleno (29-3) of Las Vegas with a left uppercut to his kidney with one second left in the ninth round ended.

— Lithuania’s Eimantas Stanionis (15-0) easily retained his WBA welterweight title by claiming a unanimous decision over Venezuelan Gabriel Maestre (6-1-1) with scores of 117-111, 118-10 and 119-109.


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