Weekend Boxing Review: Canelo Alvarez puts on a vintage performance. Will David Benavidez be next?

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Google News A critical look back at the past week of boxing.

the biggest winner
Canelo Alvarez

As he suggested after the fight, Alvarez is probably not the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Unilateral decision against Jaime Munguia Saturday in Las Vegas. That’s true of Terrence Crawford (boxing junkie number one) and more recently Naoya Inoue.

However, the 33-year-old Mexican star insists that news of his decline is premature.

Alvarez (61-2-2, 39 KOs) looked like a declining fighter, with a loss to Dmitry Bivol in 2022 and subsequent wins over Gennady Golovkin and John Ryder. His judgments of Jermell Charlo and now Munguia were a lot like his old sharpshooter Alvarez.

What was the difference? he is healthy He had his left wrist surgically repaired, which caused his worst performance, but he is now at 100%.

He certainly looked close to his best against Munguia, but while Munguia threw a lot of punches, he couldn’t break through Alvarez’s defense consistently enough to keep the fight close. And while Alvarez threw fewer punches, he let them count and landed them almost at will. According to CompuBox, he landed 49.7% of his power punches.

The result was perhaps Alvarez’s best performance since dominating Callum Smith in 2020, and certainly maintains his membership in the pound-for-pound exclusive club.

However, it is important not to get carried away. Impressive wins over Charlo and Munguia have limited weight. That’s because while the former moved up two weight classes in this fight, Munguia is still in the development stage. Alvarez also hinted at his opponent’s obvious weaknesses after the match.

“He’s strong, but a little slow. You can see every punch. [coming]” Alvarez said.

Alvarez has one obvious way to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is a fighter who has risen to the top of many pound-for-pound lists and remained there for years. It’s about defeating David Benavidez, a formidable fighter who many believe he ran away from.

After the victory over Munguia, he was asked again if he would be willing to eventually face Benavidez, who is scheduled to face Oleksandr Gvozdyk on June 15th at 175 pounds.

Alvarez made it clear he would do it if the money was right. That means he demands a salary commensurate with the risk of facing his biggest threat at 168 years old. Then, while still in the ropes, he spotted Benavidez in the crowd. , I looked him in the eye and pointed to the ring as if to say, “I’ll meet you here.”

Let’s hope he’s serious. The fan assumes Benavidez defeats the talented Gvozdyk, and he wants to see that fight. And Alvarez needs to do a better job of asserting that he truly is the best.

the biggest loser
Jaime Munguia

Jaime Munguia left the ring heartbroken.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Munguia said the first setback was painful. Of course it was. The 27-year-old from Tijuana had a chance to make history but fell short.

But while he shouldn’t be too hard on himself, he needs to remember the opponent who beat him, a future Hall of Famer who has more experience in big fights than anyone in boxing. A lot of good fighters lost to Alvarez.

The Munguia we saw Saturday night believes he can beat just about anyone in this division. He may not be fast by Alvarez’s standards, but he’s good enough to consistently land punches against strong opponents, as seen in wins over Sergei Derevyanchenko and John Ryder. has speed.

While it seems like no one can hurt Alvarez’s chin, Munguia also has the power to hurt, or at least gain respect from, other opponents. He was the first to stop the burly rider, something Alvarez was unable to do in January.

And he showed a lot of grit. When he was knocked down by a perfect right uppercut in the fourth round, I thought the end was near, but even though Alvarez controlled the rest of the fight, he weathered the storm and continued to fight as hard as he could. , never gave up.

The important thing is that Munguia is a good fighter, especially after working with trainer Freddie Roach in his last two fights. It’s still too easy to attack him, but he’s grown in that area and can continue to grow.

In fact, he could follow Alvarez’s lead. Alvarez has evolved from a solid defensive fighter to one of the best fighters in the world through hard work.

If Munguia maintains his confidence and continues to evolve after losing for the first time in his 10-year career, he could become the dominant force he and his handlers envisioned.

“It’s like Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo,” Munguia’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya said. “Canelo went to school and then he became the face of boxing.”

True, his time is not now, but it may come soon.

rabbit punch

welterweight challenger Eimantas Stanionis he made a strong statement in his Win by unanimous decision that’s all Gabriel Maestre Despite returning from a two-year layoff, he competed on the undercard of Alvarez vs. Munguia. The second titleholder controlled the fight with smart pressure, attacking relentlessly behind a heavy jab while maintaining a strong defensive guard. Maestre (6-1-1, 5 KOs) had some good opportunities, but couldn’t handle them long-term. Stanionis (15-0, 9 KOs) looked like a bigger and perhaps better version of Isaac Cruz, another elite fighter who pressured and dominated his opponents. It remains to be seen if Stanionis can beat the talented Jaron Ennis, but other fighters in the 147-pound division should be wary of this fighting machine. Maestre? He’s obviously a good fighter. He hopes he gets at least one more big match for the 37-year-old to prove himself. … Welterweight Contender mario barrios (29 wins, 2 losses, 18 KOs) Fabian Maidana (22-3, 16 KOs) The Alvarez vs. Munguia card was a dud, with Barrios winning. unanimous decision. Blame Maidana, Marcos Maidana’s younger brother. He let go here and there, but Barrios was hard to look at as he mostly stayed alive and had the ability to do so. Barrios obviously could have done a better job of cutting the rim, but he deserves the pass given his opponent’s tactics. …

featherweight challenger Brandon Figueroa (25-1-1, 19 KOs) got off to a slow start against a surprisingly effective opponent. jesse magdaleno (29 wins, 3 losses, 18 KOs) However, he found his rhythm by the middle of the match, and after that, Ended the problem with a brutal left wing Goes to the liver in nine rounds, his first time in the ring in 14 months. I don’t know what happened in the first third of the fight. Maybe it was rusted. Perhaps it was Magdaleno. His stick-hold-and-move strategy worked for a while. Maybe it was something else, maybe Figueroa was trying to prove in the first few rounds that he wasn’t just a brawler and could also box. Obviously he can box. Even if you are good at pressure, building a successful record requires skill. He doesn’t need to prove it. He sticks to his wok method from the opening bell, needing to choke his opponent with punches. …The news broke on Wednesday that the samples had been provided. ryan garcia before his victory Devin Haney A test on April 20 showed a positive result for the banned substance ostarine. Garcia said he would never knowingly take standard steroids in a situation like this. it doesn’t matter. I’ve said this a million times: Fighters are responsible for what they put into their bodies. If the investigation confirms that he had his PEDs in his system, it will be his responsibility.

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