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Canelo vs. Lara: Ringside Results & Analysis

Canelo Lara - Photo by Josh Hedges Getty Images34
Photo by Josh Hedges/Getty Images

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KOs) won a close split decision victory over Erislandy Lara (19-2-2, 12 KOs) in front of a raucous crowd of 14,239 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The bout was the competitive main event of a pay-per-view showdown presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Showtime.

In a dangerous fight that many felt would not happen, Alvarez had a lot of trouble finding Lara, as Lara’s footwork and speed made him an uneasy target.

Alvarez’s gameplan, evidently, was to work the body early, and it seemed to pay off in the later rounds where he was much more effective.

However, the fight’s competitiveness and the fighter’s styles made it very hard to score the fight, as Lara’s style often bordered closely between boxing and running, while Alvarez’s aggressiveness was most effective to Lara’s body and was only present in spurts.

One judge, Jerry Roth, scored the bout 115-113 for Lara, while another, Dave Moretti, scored the same for Alvarez. Levi Martinez unfortunately scored the bout 117-111 for Alvarez, which did not do justice to the competitiveness of the fight.

As the fight began, Lara used his footwork to work behind a sharp jab to keep Alvarez away from him.

Alvarez was aggressive for the entire fight, but it was at the expense of taking several left hands that Lara threw from the outside.

In round two, Alvarez backed Lara up with powerful right hands, which probably reminded Lara to cement his gameplan of a lot of lateral movement.

Indeed, Lara continued moving quickly, taking much of the steam of Alvarez’s punches away by moving with them as he spun away from his opponent.

By the middle of the fight, Lara had clearly found his rhythm, but at times it seemed as if he was doing a little bit too much running, rarely letting go of his straight left hand.

In round seven, Alvarez landed a left uppercut that cut Lara above his left eye, while in the following round he began landing powerful combinations on a now stationary Lara.

The tide seemed to be turning for Alvarez, whose early assault to the body seemed to be paying off.

Lara’s punch output was much slower by the later rounds, while Alvarez could only land significant punches when Lara would plant his feet.

Alvarez controlled rounds 10 and 11, but it was once again at the cost of taking left hands, some of which he was able to evade by a slight move of his head to the right.

In the final round, an aggressive Alvarez landed powerful shots to the body, but Lara got the last laugh as he landed a powerful one-two combination before the end of the fight.

According to Showtime’s ShoStats, Lara landed more punches in total (107-91), but Alvarez landed more power punches (88-52).

However, the stats do not account for the round-by-round nuance and competitiveness of the fight.

Alvarez deserves credit for taking a tough fight and he claimed he will continue to fight tough opponents, while Lara demonstrated his world-class capabilities in the biggest event of his career.

However, it seems that the question of who is the best Junior Middleweight in the world not named Floyd Mayweather will not be answered anytime soon.

Abner Mares (26-1-1, 14 KOs) vs. Jonathan Oquendo (24-3, 16 KOs)

Abner Mares scored a unanimous decision victory over Jonathan Oquendo in a ten-round Featherweight bout.

The 28-year-old Mexican, who was making a return after an 11-month layoff after a losing his WBC title against Jhonny Gonzalez, was smarter and busier as he outboxed Oquendo in nearly every round.

In his first fight with new trainer Virgil Hunter, Mares demonstrated a more cautious approach—using his jab and footwork to try to keep Oquendo away in the early rounds.

Mares mixed his offense with a bit of clinching, in a way similar to Amir Khan’s approach against Luis Collazo. Despite his cautiousness, he was able to land several shots to the body.

In the fourth round, Mares was cut by what seemed to be a head-butt. Referee Kenny Bayless ruled that it was caused by a punch, putting the fight in danger for Mares.

Mares’ cutman, Jacob “Stitch” Duran, was forced to immediately work on Mares’ cut as he regained the rhythm he had in the first three rounds.

In rounds seven and eight, Mares backed Oquendo on to the ropes, landing left hooks and shots to the body.

At this point, Oquendo had no answers for a boxing clinic by Mares that was in full effect, finding Mares to be a hard target into the 10th and final round.

The judges scored the bout 96-94, 98-92 and 98-92, for the returning former champion, Mares.

In Mares’ post-fight interview with Showtime’s Jim Gray, Mares said,”I felt a little rusty.”

Nevertheless, he would go on to say that it was the win that mattered for him and that he had successfully made his return.

“I want my rematch, I want my belt back. I want any featherweight, I’m back,” concluded Mares.

Juan Manuel Lopez (34-3, 31 KOs) vs. Francisco Vargas (20-0-1, 14 KOs)

Francisco Vargas won a third-round technical knockout victory over Juan Manuel Lopez to win the WBO International and NABF Super Featherweight titles.

Vargas approached Lopez cautiously in the first two rounds, aware of Lopez’s powerful right hook.

Despite his cautiousness, however, Vargas still managed to land powerful left hooks, which were not taken well by Lopez.

In the third round, both fighters stood toe-to-toe in the center of the ring with Lopez eventually going down with an over-hand right.

Lopez got up to continue fighting, but he had clearly seen enough as he was unable to return from his corner at the end of the third round.

Vargas, who hails from Baja California, Mexico, won the biggest fight of his career, while the Puerto Rican Lopez considers retirement as he suffers yet another devastating defeat.

The 29-year-old Super Featherweight raises his stock in a division that is lead by the likes of WBO champ Mikey Garcia and IBF Champ Rances Barthelemy.

Mauricio Herrera (20-4-7) vs. Johan Perez (19-1-1, 13 KOs)

Mauricio Herrera scored a majority decision victory over Johan Perez to win the interim WBA Junior Lightweight title.

Herrera, who lost a close but controversial decision to Danny Garcia, outlanded Perez in what was a very close fight.

Herrera began the fight aggressively, walking down Perez for the first few rounds and counterpunching as he came forward.

Perez did not do much to keep Herrera off, letting go of a counter jab with very little force. Herrera, on the other hand, found a home for an overhand right that would land for the entire fight.

In by the middle rounds, Perez was unable to move as much as he was caught in several exchanges with his back against the ropes.

Every time both fighters would stand toe-to-toe, Herrera would get the better of the exchanges, landing overhand rights and left hooks.

In the final rounds, Perez had better luck at landing his punches, but Herrera’s simple one-two combination was a textbook maneuver that that Perez did not have an answer to.

Herrera, who hails from Lake Elsinore, California, won with scores of 116-112 and 116-112, while one judge scored the bout a 114-114 draw.

Tomoki Kameda (30-0, 19 KOs) vs. Pungluang Sor Singyu (46-3, 31 KOs) 

Tomoki Kameda knocked out Pungluang Sor Singyu in the sixth round with a vicious left hook to the liver to retain his WBO Bantamweight title.

Kameda’s lightening-speed jab was too much for Singyu in the first two rounds, who struggled to find Kameda as he quickly moved around the ring.

By the third round, it became clear that in order for Singyu to land punches, Kameda would have to be stationary.

In the fourth round, Singyu landed a powerful right hand that buckled Kameda. Kameda soon clinched Singyu and moved around the ring to regain his composure.

Kameda’s jab had nearly disappeared for the rest of the round, allowing Singyu to dominate at close range with little offensive response from Kameda.

Suddenly, when it seemed as if he were on the verge of being hurt again, Kameda landed a perfectly executed left hook to the body, which was set up with a short left hook to Singyu’s glove.

Singyu was immediately down and out, wincing in pain as he lay on the floor.

The 23-year-old Kameda remained undefeated with the impressive KO.

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