Las Vegas, NV – Saul “Canelo” Alvarez was the favorite coming into tonight’s fight. At the age of 23 he’s already a veteran of 45 professional fights not including his bout tonight. Alvarez who uses his body to win his fights faced some tough rounds in the end.
In a split decision, Alvarez was named the winner over Erislandy Lara. Official score cards were 115-113 and 117-111 for Alvarez. Lara was both 115-113 and 115-113. In the final rounds Lara was the stronger fighter quieting the sellout crowd who fully supported Alvarez.
“I came to fight. I didn’t come to run. You don’t win by running. You win by hitting,” said Alvarez through a translator. “He definitely has a great jab but you don’t win a fight like that by running.”
Though Lara kept his back against the ropes most of the night, he fought a good fight using his quickness, movement and punches in stride. Lara landed 10 more punches than Alvarez who won over one judge to walk away with the split decision.
“I 100 percent thought I won the fight,” Lara said through a translator. “I felt I was totally in control. It didn’t seem like he was doing anything. I know one thing, 100 percent I made him look bad in front all of his people. Everyone knows I won the fight, no matter what they say.”
It was an entertaining fight from start to finish. Alvarez is Mexico’s most popular fighter and can become the richest fighter in history outside Floyd Mayweather Jr. While he controlled the fight early on, Lara won the final three rounds.
Alvarez was the aggressor in the beginning but was unable to keep up with Lara as he danced around the ring often but did land some crisp and intelligent punches in the end. Alvarez used his body making good shots along the way but swung and missed terribly through the night.
Alvarez won his second straight victory after losing to Mayweather last year. Though he was favored against Lara, Alvarez had his hands full against Lara’s movement and chasing him around the ring. But the final rounds proved costly for both fighters as they gave it their all.
“It was a difficult, tough fight, the way everybody expected it to be,” said Oscar De La Hoya who promotes Alvarez. “You’re always worried about a boxer who is literally running, literally running.”