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Canelo Alvarez Throws Jaime Munguia, Retains RING and Undisputed 168-pound Championship

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MAY 04: Canelo Alvarez lands a left against Jaime Munguia in their super middleweight title fight at T-Mobile Arena on May 04, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The only thing Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez couldn't do was fulfill his knockout guarantee.

He really didn't need to, on a night when the four-time champion reminded the world why he is among the sport's all-time greats. Alvarez of Guadalajara dropped Jaime Munguia in the third round en route to a unanimous decision victory. The scores were 117-111, 116-111 and 115-112 for the reigning RING and undisputed 168-pound king over PBC at the Prime/ Pay-Per-View event Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Munguia took advantage of Alvarez's slow start and dominated the opening round with the power of his jab. Alvarez threw eleven punches in the first three minutes but didn't flinch and fought with confidence that he would quickly turn the tide.

True to form, Alvarez went to work in the second round. Munguia stuck to what worked in the opening frame but Alvarez was able to stay engaged. The previously shot dead body planned an attack on the defending champion. Munguia responded with several punches that were blocked.

Munguia went on a straight run in the third. It was always the best—if not the only—offensive shot and he seized his moment in the final 90 seconds of the round. Alvarez's stellar defense picked off a lot of incoming and countered a left hook with a right uppercut. Munguia rode it out and drove Alvarez into the corner where he connected with a clean combination.

However, the truth would soon emerge.

Alvarez delivered one hit on the night. Munguia left his chin exposed long enough to be cut with a right uppercut. The streak brought down the undefeated Tijuana native for the first time in his career. Munguia hit the count but was unable to regain his early rhythm.

Meanwhile, Alvarez grew more precise in his economic approach. Munguia continued to throw more punches but Alvarez landed heavily and at a very high percentage.

Alvarez connected with a left hook early in the sixth. Munguia tried to fight back but missed with several punches. The same pattern played out in the seventh, as Munguia's punches ran out of steam.

The momentum shifted in the ninth round. Munguia connected with a right hand and a left uppercut. Alvarez's granite chin withstood the damage, though he was slowed later in the round. Munguia was cautioned for the foul and Alvarez was warned by referee Thomas Taylor not to retaliate.

Alvarez landed a right hand to open the tenth round. It was a brutal reality check that Munguia was suddenly reduced to a puncher's chance. It wouldn't happen in a battle where his power had no real effect.

Munguia let go of his hands in the eleventh round. Many also missed the mark, although his work impressed the judges. The final score gave credit to Munguia's punch, although it came at a very low percentage. Alvarez (61-2-2, 39 knockouts) landed 234-of-536 total strikes (43.7%), including nearly half of his power shots (151-of-304, 49.7%) .

The only thing Alvarez couldn't deliver in the end was a takedown. Instead, he walks the distance for the fifth straight time.

Munguia (43-1, 34 KOs) suffered his first and only loss, although it was a valiant effort.

Alvarez made the seventh defense of his RING super middleweight championship and at least two of his championship titles. It was his fourth undisputed championship defense, the most of any male bout in the four-belt era.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for The Ring and vice president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Follow @JakeNDaBox


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