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Photos copyright by Chris CozzoneAlvarez stops Angulo in ten

Ringside by Miguel Maravilla
Photos b y Chris Cozzone

In a clash between two Mexican warriors, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, of Guadalajara, and Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo, of Mexicali, gave the fans plenty to make noise about, Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Displaying great hand speed and power, Canelo took it to Angulo for ten rounds, before the bout was stopped in controversial fashion by referee Tony Weeks.

Canelo landed a clean left hook on ”Perro” in the opening seconds of the fight in round one to start things off, tagging a slow-starting Angulo with power punches throughout the round. The hand speed was evident in the second round as Alvarez landed a series of effective combinations on Angulo.

Photos copyright by Chris CozzoneIn round three, Angulo got started as he closed the gap, but Canelo continued to be effective with his hand speed and combinations, momentarily rocking Angulo. “Perro” continued to come forward in the fourth round despite getting tagged by Alvarez’s hand speed and combinations.

Alvarez continued to outbox in the fifth, using his jab and circling an increasingly aggressive Angulo. Canelo’s jab blinded Angulo, and solid straight rights rocked his head back time and time again.

The sixth round was all boxing for Alvarez as he jabbed and countered the increasingly battered Angulo, who continued to press though he seemed to be wearing down. El Perro showed heart despite getting outworked by Alvarez, who continued to press by outboxing his foe.

In round eight, Alvarez did his own version of the rope-a-dope when Angulo backed him up to fire away. Canelo weathered the storm, then turned it around,  unloading a series of combinations and going toe to toe, while everyone in the arena cheered on.

Photos copyright by Chris CozzoneAlvarez countered Angulo’s aggression in round nine by tagging him with huge punches. By the tenth, as Angulo’s face swelled, ref Weeks had seen enough. After one of Canelo’s uppercuts snapped Angulo’s head back, Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at 47 seconds of the round, causing a mixture of boos and cheers throughout the arena.

With the win, Alzarez rebounds from his decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr., improving his record to 43-1-1, 31 KOs. Angulo gave Canelo all he can handle, but drops to to 22-4, 18 KOs, suffering his second straight loss.

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Photos copyright by Chris CozzoneSanta Cruz keeps busy with Mijares

In the co-main event, WBC Super Bantamweight Champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz (26-0-1, 15 KOs) of Lincoln Heights, California ,by way of Huetamo, Michoacan, retained his belt but had a busy night with former world champion Cristian Mijares (49-7-2, 24 KOs) of Gomez Palacio, Durango, Mexico.

Santa Cruz came right after Mijares from the opening bell, landing a solid right hand that backed him to the ropes. Mijares circled the ring in round two as Santa Cruz continued to apply pressure, connecting effectively.

Jabbing away and following up with the right hand in round three, Santa Cruz continued coming at Mijares who was on the run. Referee Kenny Bayless stopped the action momentarily in round four when Santa Cruz was on the receiving end of a head butt and began to bleed above his right eye. When the fight resumed, Santa Cruz continued to work Mijares..

Photos copyright by Chris CozzoneIn round five, a very composed Santa Cruz chased Mijares around the ring, despite being cut the previous round. Halfway through the bout, in the sixth, Santa Cruz stuck to his plan by cutting off the ring and connecting with a solid right hand. Santa Cruz right eye trickled blood in round seven while the veteran Mijares stood on the inside, exchanging with the young champion. Despite the blood flow, Santa Cruz kept on the pressure in the eighth, boxing well.

In the ninth, Mijares stood on the inside with Santa Cruz to trade. Going into the championship rounds, Santa Cruz was selective with his punches, timing Mijares with the right hand. The eleventh round continued with Santa Cruz applying the pressure and Mijares mixing it up running, then fighting on the inside.

In the twelfth and final round, Santa Cruz continued to pressure and box though Mijares held his own in going the distance.

Judges John McKaie scored the bout 119-109 with judges Adalaide Byrd and Glenn Towbridge making it a shutout at 120-108.

Santa Cruz defends his WBC title for the second time, improving to 27-0-1, 15 KOs, as the former champ Mijares falls to 49-8-2, 24 KOs.

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Photos copyright by Chris CozzoneLinares Dominates Arakawa

Venezuela’s Jorge Linares (35-3, 23 KOs) and Nihito Arakawa (24-3-1, 16 KOs) of Japan went the distance, squaring off in a ten-round WBC lightweight title elimination bout.

Linares was busier, keeping his distance with the jab in the opening round while the southpaw Arakawa worked his way inside. In round two, Linares started letting his hands loose. Arakawa continued to press forward.

The Japanese fighter began to land his punches in round three connecting with a barrage as Linares backed up. The fourth round saw Arakawa connect with a looping right hand in the opening moments of the round. Later in the round, Linares followed up with a combination but Arakawa didn’t back up.

Linares began round five unloading a combination, followed by a left uppercut that rocked Arakawa’s head back. Halfway through the bout, in round six, Linares continued to outbox Arakawa who never stopped moving forward. Linares seemed to be sliding away with the fight through seven rounds by outworking and outpunching Arakawa, who was taking a lot of punches.

Despite the fight being one-sided, Arakawa continued to bring it to Linares in round eight when a headbutt caused a nasty cut on Linares right eye. Linares began to bleed but Arakawa was soon cut as well, when he jumped on top of Linares. With bloodied, two came out slugging in the tenth and final round, with Linares firing away with combinations while Arakawa tried to chop him down on the inside.

Judges Dick Houck and Tim Cheatham scored it 98-92 while judge William Lerch gave Linares a shutout, scoring it 100-90.

Linares improves to 36-3, 23 KOs, while Arakawa once again gave it his all, falling to 24-4-1, 16 KOs.

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Photos copyright by Chris CozzoneThompson Upsets Alvarez

In the opening bout of the PPV telecast, Ricardo “Dinamita” Alvarez (23-2-3, 13 KOs) and Sergio “Yeyo” Thompson (28-3, 26 KOs) squared off in a ten-round lightweight bout for the vacant WBC international title.

In the first, Thompson caught Alvarez with a pair of huge right hands, momentarily staggering him. Thompson continued to fire away but Alvarez returned the favor in the second, tagging Thompson with an uppercut. In the third, Thompson scored a knockdown, when a stiff jab sat Alvarez to the ropes. Referee Vic Drakulich ruled it a knockdown.

In round four, Thompson and Alvarez changed up the pace. Thompson began to box more as Alvarez looked to counter. A huge right hand by Thompson in round six found its mark once again, and he stunned Alvarez, backing him to the ropes. Alvarez began swelling from his left eye and backed Thompson to the ropes in round seven, firing away on Thompson who slipped most of the punches.

The straight right did it once again for Thompson when he sat Alvarez down in round eight. Thompson boxed in round nine as Alvarez began to pick up the pace late in the fight. The tenth and final round Alvarez came out punching when he sensed the urgency. Thompson played it safe, sticking and moving. Later in the round, Alvarez hit Thompson behind the head while referee Drakulich attempted to separate them. Thompson went down to a knee, but quickly got up as the crowd booed. Alvarez had his last rally when he staggered Thompson late in the round. Thompson managed to hold on.

Judges Burt Clements and Patricia Morse Jarman scored the bout 95-93 while Judge David Sutherland had it 97-91 to give “Yeyo” Thompson the unanimous decision. Taking the fight as a late replacement a week prior to the fight and originally scheduled to take on Alvarez in a preliminary, the bout was bumped up to the pay per view slot on Friday when the Carlos Molina fight fell through. Thompson improves to 29-3, 26 KOs. Ricardo Alvarez falls to 23-3-3, 13 KOs.

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Non-televised

Undefeated Australian junior lightweight Will Tomlinson made his U.S debut in going the distance against Jerry Belmontes of Corpus Christy, Texas. Tomlinson was the aggressor throughout the fight but the Texan was flashy and elusive, frustrating the Aussie. Tomlinson suffered a cut above his right eye which gave him issues with Belmontes’ quick hands. The judges scored the convincingly for Belmontes, 99-91, 98-92, 98-92. With the win, Belmontes improves to 19-3, 5 KOs. Tomlinson suffers his first loss, falling to 22-1-1, 12 KOs.

2008 Mexican Olympian junior lightweight Francisco Vargas of Mexico, City, and Puerto Rico’s Abner Cotto went the distance in a scheduled 10-round bout. The Mexican fighter displayed his boxing skill early on, landing effective punches while breaking down Cotto. Vargas continued to press the action throughout the fight but the Puerto Rican fighter did not quit exchanging with Vargas, standing with him till the final bell. In the end the judges scored the bout 97-93, 97-93, and 96-94, for Vargas who improves his mark to 19-0-1, 13 KOs. Cotto falls to 17-2, 8 KOs.

In the opening bout from the MGM Grand Garden Arena Australian light heavyweight Steve Lovett scored a second round knockout over Francisco Molina of Tijuana, Mexico, in a scheduled four-round bout. Referee Jay Nady reached a ten count at 1:13 of the round two. Lovett remains unbeaten improving to 8-0, 6 KOs, Francisco Molina drops to 2-3.

Junior welterweight Keandre Gibson of St. Louis, Missouri, stopped Antonio Wong of Tijuana, Mexico in four rounds of a scheduled six-rounder. Gibson displayed good hand speed as he boxed the Mexican who kept coming forward. A body shot forced referee Russell Mora to waive the bout at 1:54. Gibson keeps his undefeated record and goes to 9-0-1, 4 KOs. Wong falls to 11-8-1, 6 KOs.

2012 U.S Olympian super bantamweight Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte, California, continued to impress by scoring a fifth round TKO over Puerto Rico’s Jiovani Fuentes. The southpaw Diaz boxed patiently in the opening round, selective on his punches. Fighting relaxed, Diaz used combinations by flurrying away on Fuentes. A body shot, however, in round five, forced referee Russell Mora to stop the contest at the end of the round at 2:59. Diaz Jr. wins his ninth consecutive fight and now stands at 9-0, 7 KOs. Fuentes goes to 5-4, 4 KOs.

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