While Gennady Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez provided the main attraction in every sense on Saturday evening there was a steady stream of enticing undercard bouts beforehand. Three early knockouts got the fans pumped up even more for the T-Mobile Arena headliner but left broadcasting teams around the world scrambling for additional content during an elongated lead-in to the middleweight showdown.
David Lemieux wasted little time in removing Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan from their middleweight grudge match. A Lemieux left hook landed a split second before O’Sullivan’s own looping right hand and suddenly the Irishman’s physical form and mental capacity were hastily disengaged.
Referee Russell Mora called the bout off at 2:44 as a dazed and confused O’Sullivan tried to reclaim his senses and continue. It never looked likely given the pure punching power that Lemieux possesses.
“I felt great and I’m in superb shape,” Lemieux proposed as former middleweight great Bernard Hopkins grinned in the background. In truth, the Canadian was podgy around the waist — a point that Spike’s trainer Paschal Collins audibly pointed out to his charge prior to the referee’s instructions — but coming in at 179 pounds he significantly outweighed Cork’s O’Sullivan. The loser still has something to offer the sport but he’s effectively a super-welterweight.
Speaking of which, Jaime Munguia made his name and enhanced his reputation by not fighting Gennady Golovkin in May and defeated Sadam Ali for the WBO 154-pound strap instead. Munguia successfully defended that belt on Saturday with a third-round stoppage over Brandon Cook.
Looking slightly more reserved and patient early in the bout, Munguia was not averse to throwing in the odd low blow or rabbit punch as the Mexican cranked up the pace at the end of the opening round. Nervous Cook gravitated towards the ropes when under pressure which was a mistake against such a wild and ferocious attacker as the man in front of him.
Cook hit the canvas in round three following a Munguia frenzy and the Canadian’s task suddenly looked even more daunting. Boxing in his fifth fight of 2018 Munguia decided it was time to end matters and winged in punches from all angles, prompting referee Tony Weeks to intervene at 1-03 of the third as Cook took a beating on the ropes.
With his size and power, Munguia will be a tough option for anyone in the weight class – challengers and champions alike. With many of the elite talents signed to other promotional entities, it may be difficult to make the desired contests against fellow belt holders.
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez needed to find out what he had left and his comeback bout against Moises Fuentes was designed to serve that exact purpose. The eventual answer arrived in dramatic fashion at 1-44 of round five when a swiping left hook set up a right-hand flush on the button that turned taller Fuentes’ lights out.
Competing in his 49th contest Gonzalez had been beaten twice by Srisaket Sor-Rungvisai -the second by devastating knockout- so required a big performance to convince himself as well as much as the paying public that he could still mix at the top table of the super-flyweight division.
The four-weight world champion opened an early cut to the right eye of his opponent that smothered Fuentes’ face in a mask of blood. Former titleholder Fuentes ended the career of the legendary Ivan Calderon and made it clear that he was in Las Vegas to put the final nail in the Gonzalez coffin. That never looked like occurring. Gonzalez battled hard and both men suffered significant facial damage as Roman scored knockout number 39 and breathed some life into his flagging career.