Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (46-1-1) captured the WBC middleweight crown on Saturday with a unanimous decision victory over Miguel Cotto (40-4) at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Canelo, who is ten years younger than Cotto, hit the catchweight of 155lbs but entered the ring much heavier than his Puerto Rican counterpart. The Mexican also held a considerable advantage in terms of power and these two factors were arguably the key to his victory on the night.
Cotto, however, stuck to his gameplan and was able to achieve some success but Canelo retained control for the majority of the fight and that was reflected in the judge’s scorecards of 119-109, 118-110 and 117-111.
The undercard saw a fanastic bout between Takashi Miura (29-3-2) and Francisco Vargas (24-0-1).
Miura was hurt during the first round but responded well, staying on his feet and continuing to trade with Vargas.
Miura found the strength to fight back and in the third caught Vargas with a number of straight lefts leaving some damage to his right cheek.
In the fourth, Vargas was dropped with a straight and Miura looked as if he was taking the lead. Vargas fought back in the sixth but his injuries were hindering him and when a cut opened above his right eye in the seventh it seemed all but over for Vargas.
Toward the end of the eighth round, Vargas was rocked by another left and was lucky the round was coming to a close.
In the ninth Vargas caught Miura with a vicious uppercut sending the champion to the canvas. Unable to recover, Miura stumbled for nearly a minute before the referee, Tony Weeks, called a halt to the fight.
Guillermo Rigondeaux (16-0) won a shutout against Drian Francisco (28-3-1) to claim the WBC super bantamweight title, however, it was a lackluster affair.
Ronny Rios (24-1) overcame a previously undefeated Jayson Velez (23-1-1) with a unani,ous decision to claim the vacant WBC Silver featherweight title.
Referee, Jay Nady, deducted a point from Rios midway through the ten round bout for low blows but he was still able to emerge victorious with the scorecards reading 97-92, 96-93 and 95-94.
Jose Martinez (15-0) maintained his unbeaten record with an eight round unanimous decision victory over Oscar Mojica (8-1) scored 78-74 on all the judge’s scorecards.
Alberto Machado (12-0) sent Tyrone Luckey to the canvas three times to claim a first round stoppage.
Zhilei Zhang (6-0) was sent to the canvas in the final round of his four round bout with Juan Goode (6-2) in the heavyweight division. However, Zhang managed to keep his composure and win the bout 38-37 on every card.
At the start of the evening Hector Tanajara (4-0) was able to score a KO against Jose Naranjo (3-1-1) in the first round of their lightweight battle.