Okay so in the aftermath of actually paying for the Canelo Alvarez vs Alfredo Angulo fight. I must say I was left feeling surprisingly satisfied. I say surprisingly because this card turned out to somehow be better than advertised. From a dollar value perspective you got your money’s worth with this one. All the fights were exciting and action packed.
Opening with the very entertaining bout between Ricardo Alvarez (Canelo’s younger brother) and the man with literally one of boxings dopest nicknames Sergio “Yeyo” Thompson. From the opening bell, Sergio’s superiority in power was evident. The fight started off with Yeyo strafing alvarez with blistering power shots early in the first round and dropping alvarez in both the second and the eighth with the latter being off an exceptionally hard shot. Alvarez was in the fight but it was evident from the beginning that Thompson’s power was just too much for him. Culminating in Sergio’s winning the fight with scores of 97-91, 95-93, and 95-93. I agree with the judges on this one and you have to give Thompson a lot of credit for the win as he did it after coming in on only 8 days notice. Great fight!
Then came the fight between Jorge Linares and Nihito Arakawa. Though this bout was all Linares from the opening bell, Arakawa was extremely tough and made the fight exciting because of it. In the end, against Linares, Arakawa seemed limited both offensively and defensively. Though his toughness served him well it was not nearly enough to get him the win as he was just simply outclassed by Linares. This was another great, surprisingly exciting undercard fight.
Leading up to the main event came the clash between Leo Santa Cruz vs Christian Mijares for Santa Cruz’s WBC Super Bantamweight title. From the first round on this fight was all Santa Cruz. It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Santa Cruz as he did suffer a cut over his right eye in the 4th after an accidental headbutt. It didn’t seem to bother him at all though because he continued to apply effective pressure and force Mijares to figuratively “get on his bicycle” in an attempt to avoid the shots. From causing the right eye of Mijares to swell after the opening round to forcing Mijares into survival mode from round 5 until the final bell… Leo dominated this one fam. After seeing this I would REALLY love to see Santa Cruz vs Rigondeaux in the very near future!!! Let’s hope the boxing gods feel me on that one.
Now we come to the Main Event: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo. From the onset this fight was all Saul Alvarez. He looked faster, stronger, more technically sound and just bigger. To me it appeared that he benefitted heavily from the weight advantage he purchased the day before *Alvarez reportedly paid $100,000 to Angulo for not making the contracted 154lb limit*. Now don’t get me wrong, Alvarez dominated the fight start to finish but, I couldn’t help but wonder what exactly happened to Angulo. He looked unhealthily lean at the weigh in the day before and certainly looked sluggish in the fight as well.
At times early in the fight especially he appeared to be not much more than a plodding target. Granted, as Paulie Malignaggi so eloquently put it, “Angulo needs forward momentum to get his offense going and isn’t the same fighter when forced to fight going backwards.” This is true but in this fight even the times when Angulo was coming on he didn’t look like the Angulo were used to seeing. I don’t know whether it was the rehydration clause (which stated he couldn’t come in fight night over 168lbs) or what but he definitely didn’t seem like himself. Either way he took the fight so we won’t create nor respect any excuses. As for Canelo, he looked great the first 4 rounds but seemed a bit lethargic thereafter. He would land bursts of good solid hard shots but then take breaks after.
As the fight wore on those breaks got longer and his defense began to break down which is likely why the crowd was displeased with the stoppage. I personally wasn’t unhappy with the stoppage even though I thought the point at which it was stopped was a bit odd. To me, the fight should’ve been stopped the round before if it was gonna be done like that. Angulo had no chance to win on points and was taking a lot of clean hard punches. I feel people are upset about the stoppage less because of Angulo coming on than it was for Canelo beginning to slow down. Either way it was a great main event on a night full of great fights. I give this ppv an A- overall. Each fight was action packed and certainly worth the money spent on ppv. Golden Boy definitely pulled a rabbit out of a hat with this one. Great card!