Canelo Alvarez came out faster than normal and put an immediate beat down on Alfredo Angulo last night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, continuing a torrid pace that included plenty of shots punishing Angulo to the body and rattling his head around.
By round 10 of the one-sided affair, referee Tony Weeks had seen enough, and stopped the bout after Canelo landed a brutal left uppercut that snapped Angulo's head back for what seemed like the millionth time.
Immediately, there was controversy. Let's be clear: the fight was not close, and the idea that Angulo (22-4, 18 KO) was coming on strong is more theoretical than anything. He'd been beaten up again in round nine after seeming to come alive a bit in the seventh and eighth rounds, and the thought that Canelo was or might have been fading is just not compelling enough evidence that this fight needed to continue.
Some will argue that the timing was odd, but that's semantics. He got cracked and stunned yet again. Angulo is very tough and doesn't go down easily. Tony Weeks knows that. Also, Weeks was in the ring the entire night, not just seeing but hearing the shots and the fighter's reactions to those shots.
Tony Weeks is a very good referee. As the NSAC chairman said after the fight, he had consulted with the doctor throughout the bout. It was not an out of nowhere stoppage. Angulo had taken a brutal amount of punishment. We were at a point where his corner had been told that the fight might get stopped, and trainer Virgil Hunter had even told Angulo (and Weeks, he says) that he would stop it going into the 10th round if things didn't improve.
The stoppage was just. It's hard to go from a situation like we saw with Magomed Abdusalamov recently, where people are largely outraged or at least deeply concerned that the fight was not stopped, to this, where a guy is taking an enormous beating but not going down, and when the fight is stopped by a referee trying to protect the fight, there is outrage over that, too.
Alvarez (43-1-1, 31 KO) put in a class performance tonight, savaging Angulo to the head and body, basically daring him to open up for any offense so that he could whack him around some more. He punched well in combination, moved around the ring nicely, mostly kept it in the middle of the squared circle, and out-and-out physically dominated Alfredo Angulo.
Many felt Angulo didn't look "right" - but that might have had something to do with Alvarez jumping all over him in round number one, too. Angulo never had a chance to look like Angulo. Alvarez took steam away from him right away.