If Saul “Canelo’’ Alvarez had his way, the majority decision loss to undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. last September would merely be an aberration, and it was as he pounded Alfredo “El Perro’’ Angulo in a non-title light-middleweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena last Saturday night.
The scheduled 12-round fight was stopped 47 seconds into the 10th round by Referee Tony Weeks after Alvarez landed a jolting left upper cut that snapped Angulo’s head backward.
Many in the crowd of 14,610 foolishly booed the decision, but it was the correct call. “The referee is the marshal,’’ said Alvarez, who improved to 43-1-1 with 31 knockouts. “He has the order. He is the chief, and he stopped the fight because he knew what was going on. I was doing my job. This is the law of the ring. I could have fought another 10 rounds, but the referee stopped the fight.”
Angulo (22-4-0 with 18 KO’s) was disappointed the fight was halted. “I’m upset because they should have let the fight go on,’’ he said. “I’m frustrated. They should have let it go to the end. I’m fine. The referee was wrong this time.”
Within 25 seconds into the first round, Alvarez tagged Angulo with hooks and crosses to the head and body. The onslaught continued for the next six rounds until Angulo finally found his way in the eighth round, which he won on all three judges’ scorecards.
At the time of the stoppage, Dave Moretti and Craig Metcalfe each had it 89-82, while Jerry Roth scored it 88-83.
In short, Alvarez’s hands were too fast for Angulo, who often time stood in the middle of the ring and couldn’t fend off the barrage.
The eighth was Angulo’s best round as he turned the tables, ever so briefly on Alvarez, who was slammed with the same blows the 23-year-old Mexican superstar unleashed on the 31-year-old Angulo, who is also Mexican.
Angulo’s trainer is Virgil Hunter, and he also believed the battle was halted too soon. “Of course I’m very upset,’’ he said. “I told the doctor if Canelo got two or three consecutive punches on him, I would stop the fight. He only landed one punch and they stopped the fight. Everyone knows Alfredo was coming on strong.”
Alvarez landed 64 percent of his power shots (197 of 309) to 21 percent (78 of 377) for Angulo, and he continued the assault in the ninth round with jarring punches, especially to the body, which takes a toll.
“Tonight I was the best fighter,’’ said Alvarez. “I definitely rebounded from the Mayweather fight with a strong performance today. I’m very happy I came in here and did my job.”
Nevada State Athletic Commission Chairman Francisco Aguilar defended Weeks. “After speaking with Tony and the doctor, I think it’s understandable why the decision was made,’’ he said. “Tony made his decison and he made his decision with the consultation of a doctor.”
Aguilar continued: “Our job as a commission is to ensure the health and safety of our fighters. We don’t want the referee to determine the outcome of the fight, but he made the decision to protect the health of the fighter.”
Alvarez landed 58 percent of his total punches (295 of 513), while Angulo found the target 14 percent (104 of 770), and Alvarez connected on 48 percent of his jabs (98 of 204), while Angulo hit seven percent (26 of 393).
Rick Assad has been a sportswriter for more than two decades. He has a political science degree from UCLA, a journalism degree from CSUN, is a staff writer for diamondboxing.com, and is a columnist for socalboxing.wordpress.com. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.