Las Vegas, NV – Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has said he likes to fight in May and September for Cinco de Mayo and Mexican Independence Day. But on this midsummer night, the 23-year old superstar boxer from Guadalajara entered the ring against Cuban boxer Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara with the overwhelming support of a packed house at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. By the time the Junior Middleweight bout – dubbed “Honor & Glory” was over – Canelo (44-1-1, 31 KOs) won by split decision 117-111, 115-113, 113-115.
Four months ago, following Alvarez’s victory over Alfredo Angulo, Lara (19-2, 12 KOs) interrupted the post fight press conference to challenge him. Canelo accepted. For a guy who actively sought to get Alvarez in the ring, Lara spent seemed to expend a lot of time and energy Saturday night trying to avoid him. For much of the 12-round bout, Lara backed away from his boxing counterpart. By the fifth round, the sellout crowd of 14,239 was getting restless. They paid for punches and weren’t satisfied with what they saw in the first 12 minutes.
The pace picked up in the last half of the fight with Alvarez outpunching Lara 415-386 but the underdog connected on 107 to Canelo’s 97. Power punches seemed to make the difference on two of the judges’ scorecards as Alvarez landed 88 to Lara’s 52.
Through his interpreter, Alvarez addressed the issue of chasing his opponent around the ring. “I came to fight. I didn’t come to run. You don’t win by running. You win by hitting.”
At this post-fight press conference, Lara waited his turn to address the media. He began by calling the scoring of the fight a “robbery” and demanded a rematch. “I already showed I was better than him and I’ll show it again any other night. He knows he lost in his heart. Everyone knows it.” Lara’s camp is demanding an investigation from the Nevada Athletic Commission.