REPUTATION RESTORED : Canelo's Ruthless destruction of Angulo

Fight Review
Saul Alvarez v Alfredo Angulo

Waiting to make his entrance, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez looked as confident as ever. With the now infamous ranchera classic ‘Mexico Lindo y Querido’ blaring in the background, the 23 year old looked like an all conquering Mexican Ivan Drago as he strolled to the ring, his broad shoulders appearing more like those of a bodybuilder than a light middleweight prizefighter. After the criticism he received in the aftermath of his last fight, an embarrassing loss to Floyd Mayweather, Canelo was looking to regain his 'hero' status once more.
In contrast, from first sight of Alfredo Angulo my initial suspicions were confirmed. This would be a very one-sided fight. It is not normally a good idea to read too much into a boxers pre fight body language, but in this case it was unavoidable. Angulo looked like a ‘dead man walking’. Nervous and reluctantly he entered the ring punctuated by a big deep breath as though he knew what was coming.
Canelo looked like a Mexican Ivan Drago while Angulo looked like a dead man walking.

The fight started with Angulo being very tentative throwing light punches not wanting to open his guard to the atomic bombs Canelo was launching. In my preview to this fight I emphasised Canelo’s great counter punching ability and predicted Angulo would get countered over his weak jab all night long. Well, most of the time Canelo didn’t even bother waiting for a counter opportunity, rather just blasting through Angulo’s weak guard with impunity. Angulo’s poor footwork meant he could not find an escape from the onslaught and just had to stand there and take the beating. After the first round Angulo’s trainer Virgil Hunter asked his fighter ‘are his punches bothering you’? ‘A little bit’ was the astonishingly honest reply, conveying that Angulo was in a place he did not want to be.

It was clear Canelo could have ended the fight at any time, but he decided to pace himself, giving a chance to showcase his skills. Angulo tried to pressure him and Alvarez obliged going toe to toe during the mid part of the fight. At one point Canelo was up against the ropes and goaded Angulo to bring his best shots subsequently slipping, ducking and shoulder rolling everything that Angulo threw at him. He could do nothing to hurt the rock solid Alvarez but he showed a lot of heart and kept pressuring. Canelo then started stepping back and circling the ring to create space, periodically firing off combinations at will.

Between the 9th and 10th rounds Virgil Hunter was close to throwing in the towel while Angulo was being checked by the doctors. The referee spared the trainer of his obligation to protect his fighter, stopping the fight early in the 10th after a vicious uppercut from Canelo. It was a responsible stoppage, and although Angulo acted annoyed one must think he was happy the ordeal was over and he had a chance to save face. After getting to know the compassionate side of Angulo in the behind the scenes All Access series (aired by Showtime in the buildup to the fight), it was hard to watch the man take any more damage.
Canelo showed ruthlessly that if you put him in the ring with anyone less than world class, he will destroy them.

Canelo has the skills of a world class fighter. The drop off in his reputation after the loss to Mayweather must have been insulting to him. He subsequently showed that if you put him in the ring with anyone less than world class, he will ruthlessly destroy them. He stated he wanted to fight the winner of the Sergio Martinez v Cotto fight to be held on 7th of June. His team should therefore be hoping Cotto wins as they will not want to put him in with the ring with the fleet footed Martinez. Either way Canelo’s next fight will be a blockbuster we can all look forward to.

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