Mexico vs. Puerto Rico closed another chapter in the storied rivalry that has seen the likes of Julio Cesar Chavez, Hector Macho Camacho, Oscar De La Hoya, Finito Lopez and Wilfredo Sanchez with the unanimous decision victory of Saul Canelo Alvarez 46-1-1 32KOs over Miguel Cotto 40-5 33KOs.
Canelo landed the more telling blows in a fight that was highly anticipated for the last few years. Canelo delivered a signature performance to put a stamp on his arrival as the biggest star in boxing as the passing of the torch has been accomplished.
Cotto used movement and a good in and out game but just couldn’t match the power of Alvarez as he appeared more and more damaged down the stretch.
Canelo said after the fight “I have a lot of respect for Miguel. He is a great champion and a great fighter. We knew going into this fight that it would be a difficult journey, but I feel that I was the faster and stronger fighter tonight. I wasn’t hurt by his punches. I want to thank my trainers, they are like my family and the best people I know and I couldn’t have done this without them.”
On the topic of facing Gennady Golovkin in what would be the biggest fight in the world Canelo said “I’m not afraid of any fighter. GGG is a great fighter, and he is my friend. I have respect for him, but if we do fight it’s going to be at my weight class. I’m the champion, I don’t have to do what he wants.”
If the Cotto Canelo main event wasn’t so big, Francisco Vargas 23-0-1 17KOs and Takashi Miura 29-3-2 22 would have stole the show. Vargas who is appropriately named “Bandido” won via sensational ninth round knockout after being dropped in the fourth and dominated for much of the action.
The first round saw Vargas rock Miura with a big right hand, with a chin made of hammers and recuperating abilities akin to Wolverine Miura survived.
After the second round Miura got his straight left hand going out of his southpaw stance and started to dominate Vargas. Miura caught Vargas with a big straight left at :20 in the fourth round to put Vargas down in what appeared to be the end.
Vargas would recover only to lose virtually every round until the ninth when he landed a right hand followed by a three punch combination punctuated by a vicious uppercut that put Miura down in a funky chicken kind of way.
Miura would beat Tony weeks count but Vargas followed up with powerful flurries prompting referee Tony Weeks to stop the fight. With the victory Vargas picks up the WBC 130lb title.
Guillermo Rogondeaux 16-0 10KOs won another workman unanimous decision on scores of 100-90 on all three cards over Adrian Francisco 28-4-1 22KOs.
Rigondeux dominated the fight with his movement and stop and pop counter-punching to remain undefeated. In a fight that was the break for action hungry Mexican and Puerto Rican fans to get up and grab a beer and smoke, the purists were treated to a boxing clinic as Rigondeaux delivered.
Ronny Rios 25-1 10 KOs of Santa Ana , CA handed previously unbeaten Puerto Rican Jayson Velez 23-1-1 16KOs the first loss of his career in a good fight that put Rios back into the championship conversation at super featherweight.
After a quick start by Velez in which he appeared to hurt Rios in the third round, Rios began to take control of the action at the end of the fourth round. In the 5th round referee Jay Nady deducted a point after multiple warnings for low blows from Rios.
Rios won the fight with good movement and aggressive counter-punching to put doubts about his heart or talent to rest. The win sets him up for a potential show down with Robison Castellanos in a rematch of the first loss of Rios’ career.