Canelo Alvarez redeemed his name, reputation and ability Saturday night, rising to the criticism, pressure and experience of his bitter rival Gennady Golovkin to take away his two middleweight belts by majority decision.
Alvarez, drawing on his youth and passion to erase the stain of a positive drug test earlier this year, turned in an impassioned showing to pile up rounds in the middle of the fight, and then survived as Golovkin raged back down the stretch.
“I’m a great fighter and I showed it tonight,” Alvarez said. “I showed my victory with facts. He was the one who was backing up. I feel satisfied … it was a clear victory.”
Jaime Munguia’s rush to establish himself as the best under-25 boxer in the world reached the mass exposure of the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin middleweight-title rematch Saturday, when Munguia accentuated his rapid ascent with a fast finish.
Needing just 1 minute and three seconds of the third round, Tijuana’s Munguia (31-0, 26 knockouts) knocked out Canada’s Brandon Cook with a heavy combination of damaging punches that mirrored another set of blows that dropped Cook (20-2) earlier in the round.
The victory, in Munguia’s fifth fight of the year, stands as his second successful defense of his World Boxing Organization light-middleweight belt and a testament to his imposing size and power advantages in the division.
Traditionally at big boxing events the fighters are in the ring while the national anthems of the respective countries are sung.
In a break from tradition the national anthems of Kazakhstan and Mexico were sung before the undercard even started.
This means the fight will start fairly quickly after the boxers make their way into the ring but it will surely upset the predominately Mexican fans in the arena to not here the national anthem on Mexican Independence weekend.
Hate to say it, but I expect this to go to the judges again.
Saturday night’s Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez rematch at T-Mobile Arena is an even fiercer test of wills than it was the first time they met in a draw one year ago this weekend, and since neither gave in to the other’s power punches then, I’m not expecting it to happen this time, either.
The pick: Gennady Golovkin by split-decision, leading to a trilogy meeting in 2019.