Alvarez retains undisputed super-middleweight title with decision over Munguia

Canelo Alvarez lands a left against Jaime Munguia in their super middleweight championship title fight at T-Mobile Arena on May 04, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez retained his undisputed super-middleweight world title with a convincing unanimous decision over fellow Mexican Jaime Munguia on Saturday.

Alvarez handed Munguia the first defeat in 44 professional bouts, dropping the 27-year-old challenger in the fourth round and inexorably taking control to improve to 61-2-2 in his storied career.

The judges scored it 117-110, 116-111 and 115-112 for Alvarez, who retained his IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO belts.

Munguia, whose 34 knockouts included victories inside the distance in four of his previous five fights, came out on the attack against the vastly experienced Alvarez, pushing him back with his jab and rattling the champion in the third round with a right to the jaw.

But Alvarez responded in the fourth. After Munguia connected with a pair of solid rights Alvarez followed a left hook with a massive uppercut that sent Munguia to the canvas.

The fifth round opened to chants of “Canelo!” ringing in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, where support was evenly divided between the Mexican combatants in a fight coinciding with Mexico’s Cinco de Mayo festivities.

An Alvarez jab popped Munguia’s head back and, in the sixth, an Alvarez left hook had Munguia’s knees buckling briefly.

In a fight billed as a possible changing of the guard, Munguia — who has honed his aggressive style under the tutelage of longtime Manny Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach — continued to press.

But his vaunted power rarely bothered Alvarez, who repeatedly found away past Munguia’s guard to land the more damaging blows.

“You know, I take my time,” Alvarez said of his measured start.

“I have a lot of experience. Jaime Munguia is a great fighter. He’s strong. He’s smart, but I take my time.

“I have 12 rounds to win the fight, and I did. I did really good and I feel proud about it,” added Alvarez, who hasn’t posted a knockout since he stopped Caleb Plant in the 11th round in 2021.

Alvarez said that after a few rounds he could see everything that was coming from Munguia.

“He’s strong, but he’s a little slow,” Alvarez said. “I can see every punch.”

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