A long feud was settled in the ring on Saturday, when Canelo Alvarez dismantled Julio Cesar Chavez en route to a 12-round unanimous decision win. The two were fighting for the lineal middleweight title and not much else -- aside from a whole lot of money and, of course, pride.
After the fight, Canelo announced he would fight Gennady Golovkin, in a bought between two of the very best ever. Golovkin was calling for the fight but many thought Canelo would go a different route. This fight will be huge and it will take place in September.
The question of who is the top Mexican fighter was definitively answered as Canelo picked apart his opponent for the better part of 12 rounds, arguably only dropping one of them. The judges didn’t think so at any rate, unanimously agreeing on a 120-108 score for Canelo.
Chavez started out OK in the first round, but it was primarily a feeling-out round. After it, Canelo picked up the pace and absolutely dominated more and more. Chavez slowed down, started telegraphing his punches, and Canelo was stalking, looking for the big right hand.
Canelo continued to find the right hand. He clearly dominated several rounds before Chavez may have actually taken one from him in the ninth. He backed Canelo up multiple times and fought the inside game that he prefers. Unfortunately, when the 10th came around
It was a packed night of fights, including several bouts on a free preliminary card. But the main bouts were on the HBO PPV broadcast, and they were all very good. The first one, featuring undefeated featherweight prospects Joseph Diaz Jr. and Manuel Avila, went to the judge’s scorecards.
Avila looked good in bursts, but Diaz, the more dynamic fighter, eventually wore him down and was dominating by the final rounds. Diaz improved to 24-0 on his career, dropping Avila to 22-1.
The next fight saw Lucas Matthysse return to the ring after a long layoff, and the big question was about his conditioning after the time away. He was up against the tough Emmanuel Taylor, but after four rounds of throwing and landing heavy, heavy shots, Matthysse put Taylor down in the fifth. Taylor displayed an excellent chin in withstanding the shots for so long, but ultimately he was ended in the fifth.
Finally, the hard-hitting David Lemieux and Marcos Reyes fought a 10-round war. Many expected Lemieux to finish Reyes in spectacular fashion early in the fight and he certainly landed the hard shots that would put most fighters out there down, but Reyes somehow held on and his chin held despite being bloodied and beaten for most of the fight. Reyes even showed some serious offense later in the fight, but Lemieux ultimately did more damage.
Below is the full round-by-round coverage from the night’s card and below that are the full list of results.
Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1) def. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-3-1) via unanimous decision (120-108, 120-108, 120-108)
Round 1: Chavez has the height and reach advantage and he begins by throwing from range. He does prefer to fight up close though, so he’ll have to find his way inside, which of course is very dangerous. Chavez lands a nice left hook to the body. Canelo defends all the shots from outside and is trying to find his own range. He throws a 1-2 that Chavez just blocks. The round comes to an end with nothing of significance having landed. It was a feeling-out round for sure.
Round 2: Canelo is starting to pick up the pace in the second. He’s landed some good body shots, and throws a big straight jab. Chavez comes forward and eats a couple big hooks from Canelo. He presses Canelo into the ropes, but doesn’t capitalize and the two back out of it. Canelo wings a wild right hand that just misses. He sneaks a left hab in that lands right on the button. Canelo lands another flurry, with a left hook followed by two body shots. It’s a clear Canelo round.
Round 3: Chavez is looking very passive in this fight. Chavez isn’t landing any of his jabs despite his reach advantage. Canelo, on the other hand, lands some winging hooks and body shots and he’s winning everywhere at this point. Chavez is bleeding from his nose and Canelo is teeing up. Chavez throws a nice flurry that pushes Canelo back, but the favored fighter comes back with even more, and Chavez stumbles back. The round ends with Canelo clearly in the driver’s seat.
Round 4: Chavez begins the round backing up while Canelo continues to throw big combos. He’s trying to get Chavez to quit. Canelo gets Chavez against the ropes, lands a nice uppercut, throws some hooks to the side and Chavez drops his hands. Chavez looks completely worn down. Canelo is simply picking him apart. The round was completely, utterly dominant.
Round 5: Chavez telegraphs a jab and Canelo lands a massive right hand that stumbles Chavez. It’s the hardest shot of the fight by far. Chavez recovers, but Canelo continues to stalk him. Chavez throws a wild right hand that misses and Canelo counters with a glancing right of his own. The round comes to an end with Chavez backing up.
Round 6: Canelo wants the finish, but he’s still taking his time. He’s throwing one-off punches and it might actually be giving Chavez a chance to recover. Chavez gets Canelo against the ropes and tees off inside. This is where Chavez wants to be, but he’s afraid of Canelo’s power counter. Canelo is letting the damage come in as he waits for his window, but he doesn’t get it and they get back to the center of the ring.
Round 7: Between rounds, Chavez’s corner tells him that he needs a stoppage to get the win, which is likely as Canelo clearly took the first six rounds, with only the opening round being up for debate as it was lacking action. Chavez gets Canelo into the ropes and lands several shots, including a big 1-2 combo, but Canelo fights out of it with a huge right hand uppercut and a combo of his own. He took no real damage in the exchange. Chavez is landing some good body shots, but Canelo continues to land on the face, and Chavez is taking big damage.
Round 8: Canelo is throwing some strong, strong combos. He’s peppering Chavez’s head and his body. He lands a beautiful left straight in the final 30 seconds and Chavez can do nothing but backup and try and reset. He’s got nothing for Cnaelo at this stage of the fight.
Round 9: This round starts with Chavez coming out and throwing big combos, hard combos. He is desperate, and he puts the pressure on Canelo. He lands some big body shots, throws some nice hooks. Nothing seems to damage Canelo hugely, but his aggressive is stymied and Chavez certainly won the round.
Round 10: Canelo is back in charge at the start of the round. He’s got Chavez backing up, which is what he did in every other round save for the ninth. Canelo lands a nice left straight followed by a right hook. Canelo isn’t going much to the body, instead settling for graving shots to the side of the head. Canelo dominates the round.
Round 11: Canelo comes out throwing big from range. Canelo wants to end this fight still. He is stalking Chavez with his hands down, and Chavez is not responding. Canelo lands throughout the round and it comes to an end, again, in his favor.
Round 12: Canelo throws two huge overhand right hands that Chavez just blocks. Chavez wants to get inside to work his short game but Canelo is is keeping him at bay with winging hooks. Chavez throws hooks to the body that barely graze, the same hooks he’s been throwing for much of the fight. Canelo, despite note needing to push the aggression at this point, does stalk Chavez while throwing shots. He’s not throwing all caution to the wind for a finish, but the fight comes to an end with Canelo landing a left hook.
David Lemieux (37-3) def. Marcos Reyes (35-4) via unanimous decision )(99-90, 99-90, 98-91)
Round 1: The two exchange from range, and tie up a couple times. Big, big shots are being thrown but nothing is landing as the boxers use up the whole ring, circling around. Lemieux lands a nice right hand uppercut followed by a left hook. Lemieux has the power and Reyes is doing his best to stay out of that wheelhouse. The round comes to a close, fairly clearly in Lemieux’s favor.
Round 2: Reyes is more active in this round, landing some nice body shots early in the round. But Lemieux’s huge power eventually forces him back into a backpedaling stance. Reyes can’t set up anything significant because Lemieux is throwing fire. Reyes ends up with a cut on the right side of his face. Reyes responds with a huge flurry of his own but Lemieux handles it.
Round 3: Reyes has his cut looked at between rounds, bu when he comes out it’s still leaking bad. Lemieux lands a good left hand right on the cut, and Reyes is forced to tie up with him to prevent an onslaught. Lemieux unloads left hook after left hook and the blood on Reyes’ face is clearly getting into his eyes. Reyes throws and lands some body shots, but there’s no power in them. Lemieux switches it up and goes for the body and lands some big shots on the sides. Reyes kind of taunts Lemieux for some reason and Lemieux lands a big right hand that spins Reyes’ head. Lemieux puts a right straight on the button and he wants to score a knockdown here but the bell saves him.
Round 4: Reyes’ corner tells him to press the pace, but doing that is a tall order when your opponent is throwing so hard. They get his cut closed up as well as possible and he comes into the round with a clean head. But Lemieux lands three consecutive left hands that open the cut right back up. Reyes loses the mouth guard and the action is stopped briefly. Reyes comes out and ties up with Lemieux, and lands a good flurry to the sides of his head, perhaps his best combo of the night. He has Lemieux on the defensive as the round comes to a close, but it may not be enough to win the round.
Round 5: Reyes is still active, more active than in previous rounds, and Lemieux is looking a bit more tentative. Reyes has way more going for him right now than he has any right to be after the beating he took in the first three rounds. Reyes has Lemieux on the defensive or much of the round. In the final 20 seconds, Lemieux tries to push forward and land, and he slips in a single nice right hand, but ultimately it may have been a Reyes round. Is Lemieux tiring or was that just a breather round?
Round 6: Reyes loses his mouth guard again when Lemieux starts landing shots. Lemieux is looking a lot more active in the round, bouncing forward and back, and throwing big straight shots. But Reyes is more active, and is landing more, even if there isn’t a ton of power behind the shots. Reyes gets quite a few shots in before the round comes to an end. It’s still Lemieux’s fight, but a couple more rounds and Reyes could well have the lead.
Round 7: Lemieux seems to ave lost his rhythm. Reyes is circling and staying out of Lemieux’s power, and landing with more volume. Reyes lands a beautiful set of right hands and then follows it with two straight jabs that backs up Lemieux. He gets a little too aggressive though and Lemieux slips in one of those powerful uppercuts. Reyes is backed up and ties up to get a breather. Lemieux lands a right straight and a massive left hook and the fight is looking more like it did at the start. Lemieux wants to keep hitting that cut on the left side, and he does. After what seemed like a two-round break, Lemieux ends this round back on track.
Round 8: Reyes’ face is still leaking blood, but his corner is doing the best they can with it. Lemieux comes out in Round 8 with a spring in his step. He lands a massive right hand while Reyes is going low. Reyes ties up for a breather. Reyes throws a combination of his own and lands a grazing right hook. In the final 40 seconds, Reyes throws a long right hand that backs Lemieux up into the ropes and he tries to capitalize on it, but the round comes to an end.
Round 9: The referee took a point from Reyes due to a shot after the bell. Lemieux doesn’t look as drained as he did in earlier rounds and he lands a left-right combo right onto Reyes’ face. Reyes has left his head open far too much in this one and he’s absorbed much more damage, even if he’s occasionally keeping Lemieux honest with combos and bursts of his own. The round comes to an end with nothing big landed, and it was probably a Lemieux round.
Round 10: Lemieux lands two big head shots at the start of the round, the left snapping Reyes’ head backward. Reyes, sensing danger, circles out and then rushes in with a flurry of his own. Reyes lands several shots when he gets Lemieux up against the ropes. Lemieux is hurt, and has some damage on the left side of his face. This is dirty boxing at its finest with both nearly slugging the referee, who was trying to separate them when they tied up. The round comes to an end with Reyes throwing big but not landing.
Lucas Matthysse (37-4) def. Emmanuel Taylor (20-4) via KO at 2:25 of Round 5
Round 1: Matthysse looks sharp early on, carefully throwing from range. But Taylor manages to dodge and block while still pushing forward, and he lands a few good body shots on Matthysse in the final minute of the round. Matthysse lands a huge right hand that catches Taylor on the temple and stumbles him, but there’s not enough time in the round to follow up on it.
Round 2: Taylor comes out in this round knowing that he took some damage in the first and eager to deal some of his own. He clipped Matthysse with a big right hand. But Matthysse walks throgh his punches and lands some huge, hard shots. He slips an uppertcut through Taylor’s defense and stumbles him again. Taylor gets back against the ropes and Matthysse lands a huge uppercut that would have put down many, many fighters. Taylor weathers the storm, but only just.
Round 3: The referee stops action early in the third after a headbutt. Taylor is eager to get in Matthysse’s face after the headbutt. Taylor basically sprints at Matthysse but he’s landing huge shots. He does land a nice body shot and there is some blood on Matthysse’s head. Taylor lands two nice right hooks and Matthysse misses his counter badly. Taylor just looks like he’s about to dominate this round and then Matthysse catches Taylor hard with one that puts him on the ground and it’s an official knockdown. A big right hand from Matthysse shortly after they get up has Taylor backed into the ropes. Matthysse peppers with body shots to try and get Taylor’s gloves down. Taylor seems to have recovered but the round comes to a close.
Round 4: Matthysse doesn’t look even remotely slowed after the headbutt, which seemed to anger him more than anything. The doctor is called to look at Matthysse’s cut but they are cleared. Taylor is high-energy again, but every time he looks like he’s starting to change things, Matthysse lands hard and gets him back against the ropes. Matthysse lands some huge shots in the final seconds again and Taylor was in danger of going down when the bell sounded.
Round 5: Taylor is hoping that Matthysse will start to slow down due to his long time away from competition. Matthysse does look a little slower to start this round nearing the midway point. But he still gets Taylor to turtle up with big shots. With under a minute to go Matthysse lands a massive combo against the ropes that puts Taylor down to the ground. He gets up, but he’s clearly stunned enough that the referee calls the fight for Matthysse.
Joseph Diaz Jr. def. Manuel Avila via unanimous decision (100-90, 99-91, 99-91)
Round 1: Diaz, as expected, begins the round primarily defending, to see what Avila can throw at him. Diaz wings a huge haymaker that Avila ducks under. Avila lands a straight to the body, and eats a right straight from Diaz in the process. The round comes to an end without much action, and it could have gone either way. Avila was the more active fighter.
Round 2: This time Diaz is a little more aggressive, but Avila is dodging the heavy blows he’s throwing from an angle. Avila lands a beautiful right hand at two minutes, and follows up with a body shot combo. Avila looks be finding his range a little bit, slipping some of his straights in and finding his mark. The round came to an end with a near-knockdown of Avila, but one was not given despite it looking like Diaz landed clean.
Round 3: Diaz is throwing with more power here in the third round, pummeling Avila’s body, but when they separate Avila lands a good body combo himself. They throw very hard in the final seconds of the round but really nothing landed and it was the most inactive round yet.
Round 4: Avila lands a huge left hook to start the round, and he lands it a few more times over the next couple minutes. Diaz is having trouble handling Avila’s range, and Diaz is moving a lot less than in previous rounds. Avila is bouncing back and forth and is definitely putting more energy into this fourth round. Diaz lands a big left jab that backs Avila up in the final seconds, though. Avila and Diaz both throw a wild flurry at the end and both fighters land decent shots.
Round 5: The fourth round as Avila’s best thus far, and he needs to come out in this one with the same intensity and movement. Diaz has surprisingly been complacent for much of this fight. This round is more of the same, with Avila throwing body blows from from range and generally keeping out of Diaz’s wheelhouse. In the final minute, Diaz turned it up a little more, and started countering Avila’s combos, doing enough damage to likely take the round.
Round 6: Avila has an eye issue and he’s gone completely into defensive mode in this round. Diaz throws a huge flurry with a minute to go, landing four body shots over two combos. Avila throws a huge right that barely misses — that one would have done some damage. Avila isn’t setting the pace any longer, and Diaz is starting to pick it up.
Round 7: Avila is responding well to the flurries, but he’s allowing the flurries in the first place and is taking an awful lot of damage to the body. Diaz has landed body shot after body shot, and has clipped him in the side following almost every exchange. Avila’s left eye is still bothering him and Diaz is throwing the right hand to try and reopen the cut. In the final 10 seconds, they tie up and Diaz lands a nice uppercut before the round comes to an end. It’s definitely a Diaz round.
Round 8: Avila is going low more, but Diaz is just hitting him anywhere he can, landing on his side, his chest, and his head when he leaves it open. They tie up multiple times in the round. Diaz has hurt Avila on the left side of his face. Diaz smells blood and Avila is clearly pressured. Avila is only really throwing to remind Diaz that he can still punch at this point. Diaz is picking him apart with a series of combos.
Round 9: Diaz likely wants the finish in this fight if he can get it. He gets Avila into the corner and unloads on him. Avila ties up to get the separation from the referee. Diaz lands a huge uppercut and straight that snaps Avila’s head back. Avila stumbles after an exchange and he’s in danger of going down. He manages to last through the round but he offered nearly zero offense.
Round 10: Avila comes out swinging hard. He knows he has to score a knockout here to win the fight, and he’s throwing hard. Diaz backs up and has perhaps decided the attempt to get a knockout himself is too dangerous. Diaz is still throwing though, but he’s going in and out more than in earlier rounds. He’s slipping his punches in and then getting out of dodge. Diaz snaps Avila’s head back with a beautiful straight right. The round comes to a close with Diaz knowing he’s done enough to win.
Canelo vs. Alvarez full results
Super middleweight: Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1) def. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-3-1) via unanimous decision (120-108, 120-108, 120-108)
Middleweight: David Lemieux (38-3) def. Marcos Reyes (35-5) via unanimous decision (99-90, 99-90, 98-91)
Welterweights: Lucas Matthysse (38-4) def. Emmanuel Taylor (20-5) via KO at 2:25 in Round 5
Featherweight: Joseph Diaz Jr. (24-0) def. Manuel “Tino” Avila (22-1) via unanimous decision (100-90, 99-91, 99-91)