Canelo still champ, puts on show in unanimous win over Jaime Munguía


Canelo Alvarez hits Jaime Munguia in a super middleweight title fight Saturday, May 4, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Canelo Álvarez hits Jaime Munguía in a super middleweight title fight Saturday, May 4, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

LAS VEGAS — It rained and rained and rained, and then it stopped. Jaime Munguía poured the pressure on Canelo Álvarez early in their scheduled 12-round affair, but in a classic teacher vs. student masterclass, Álvarez weathered the storm, floored Munguía in the fourth round, and successfully defended his undisputed super middleweight title for a fourth straight time before a lively crowd of 17,492 at T-Mobile Arena.

The judges scored the fight 117-110, 116-111 and 115-112, all for Álvarez, who has won four bouts in a row following his loss to WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol in May 2022.

It was initially a demanding fight for the champion, but Álvarez silenced Munguía’s typically explosive speed and combinations with precise counter punches. In the fourth round, Munguía was landing some solid combinations on Alvarez, backing him up toward the ropes. However, as he normally does, Munguía dropped his hands. Alvarez made him pay dearly with a thunderous counter right uppercut that sent him crashing on his trunks.

“I take my time, that’s why I have a lot of experience,” Álvarez said after the fight. “Jaime Munguía is a great fighter. He’s strong. He’s smart, but, you know, 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.”

From that point, Munguía was largely subdued by the savvy technical skills of Álvarez, who proved that even past his prime, he remains one of the best fighters in the world.

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

According to CompuBox, Álvarez was thoroughly in control. He landed 234 of 536 punches (44%) while Munguía connected with 170 of 663 punches (26%).

Immediately after the fight, it wasn’t about what just happened, but what’s next for Álvarez? When asked by Jim Grey who he’d like to face next, particularly if David Benavidez was in his sights, Álvarez didn’t give a definitive answer instead saying he just wanted to rest and spend time with his family. But he also didn’t close the door on the Benavidez matchup and ran through a list of fighters he faced who had initially said he didn’t want to fight them.

“If the money is right, I can fight right now. I don’t give s***,” he said.

As ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. introduced the fighters, there weren’t many boos, but plenty of cheers, and Álvarez’s fans had a clear edge. The fight began with the cheering sections for each fighter taking turns chanting “Canelo!” followed by roars of “Munguía!”

Every punch that landed drew a reaction from the heavily Mexican crowd and, with just under a minute in the second round, Álvarez connected with a one-two combination, a left hook followed by a right hand that knocked Munguia’s head back. “Oohhhhhh!” echoed throughout the arena.

Munguia’s fans chanted his name in an attempt to get their man back into the fight in Round 3. He got the message and backed Álvarez into the ropes with a combination. Although Álvarez blocked most of the shots, Munguía’s last right hand snapped his head back and caused some abrasion under the left eye.

Then, in the fourth round, Alvarez connected with that massive right uppercut that sent Munguía down for the first knockdown of his career. Instantly, the crowd rose to their feet with deafening roars that vibrated the arena.

Canelo Alvarez knocks down Jaime Munguia in their super middleweight championship title fight at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday in Las Vegas. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Canelo Alvarez knocks down Jaime Munguia in their super middleweight championship title fight at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday in Las Vegas. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Canelo Alvarez knocks down Jaime Munguia in their super middleweight championship title fight at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday in Las Vegas. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

“Honestly, when he hit me with the uppercut, I was more surprised than hurt,” Munguia explained. “It was a good punch. That’s it.”

In between rounds, Álvarez stood in his corner, calm and composed, while Munguia appeared tentative and wary of what could potentially come back at him following the knockdown.

What followed over the remainder of the fight was Álvarez doing what he does best: hitting without getting hit. And when he did happen to get caught by one of Munguía’s punches, he showed off his granite chin, seemingly absorbing the blow and returning the favor with a heavy counter shot. Munguía never really stood a chance as Álvarez cruised to the 61st win of his storied career.

Despite a clear defeat, Munguía won admirers for his gutsy performance. He pressured and connected on Álvarez in a way unseen since the Bivol fight. But in the end, it was a schooling, and Munguía was the student.

“I think I was winning the first few rounds until I got caught,” Munguia said. “I was never hurt, but [Álvarez] has a lot of experience. He’s a very good fighter. It was a great learning experience. I will come back stronger.”

But once again, it was Álvarez, the master tactician, doing what he had to do to continue his legendary reign atop the super middleweight division as its undisputed champion and the undisputed face of the sport.



Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top