Sherdog.com's live coverage of Saul ”Canelo” Alvarez versus Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. kicks off at 11 p.m. ET. live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (online betting).
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Undercard ResultsThe opening bout of the PPV telecast pitted unbeaten featherweights Joseph Diaz Jr. and Manuel Avila against one another and when it was all said and done, “JoJo" was on a completely different level. Avila (22-1, 8 KOs), who works full time as a construction worker, tried his best to out-box his adversary, but Diaz Jr. was on point with both his leads and counters. Avila suffered a cut above his left eye in the sixth and was never able to get things going. Diaz Jr. (24-0, 13 KOs) distanced himself down the stretch as he picked his foe apart from the outside and won a lopsided unanimous decision after 10 rounds. The scores were 100-90 and 99-91 (twice) for Diaz Jr. as he continues to creep up the 126-pound ladder.
Lucas Matthysse had been out of action for over 15 months. By the looks of him on Saturday night at welterweight, it was as if he never left. Matthysse mauled Maryland’s Emanuel Taylor from the start as he dished out lethal punishment with both fists. “El Machina” rocked Taylor with a straight right at the end of the first, dropped him with the same punch in the third and then took him out in the fifth. Taylor was bleeding from the mouth when he was wobbled by a short right and then a perfect four-punch combo sent him down into the ropes. Taylor (20-5, 14 KOs) beat referee Jay Nady’s count but the veteran third mad had seen enough and waived it off. The official time of the TKO came at 2:21 of the fifth, allowing the Argentinean to rise to 38-4 with his 35th knockout.
Former middleweight world champion David Lemieux dominated Chihuahua’s Marco Reyes for 10 full rounds, but he was unable to put him away. Lemieux (38-3, 33 KOs) raked Reyes with savage punches from every angle imaginable and had him on unsteady legs on several occasions, but the Mexican fought like his heritage would dictate. With blood streaming down his face for most if the bout, Reyes (35-5, 26 KOs) stood toe-to-toe with the Canadian, but he was unable to ever keep Lemieux off him long enough to turn the tables. In the end, Lemieux’s punches overwhelmed Reyes and won a lopsided unanimous nod for his effort. Two of the judges saw it for Lemieux 99-90 while the third had it 98-91.
Saul ”Canelo” Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Round 1Kenny Bayless is the third man in the ring, one of the best in the biz. With 20,000 in attendance, this one should be a heck of a fight. The crowd is largely in favor of Chavez Jr. and they are extremely loud about it. The fight begins an they meet in the center of the ring but balk. Chavez paws with a few jabs but they miss their mark. A left hook sneaks in through the guard for Alvarez but it’s more of a glancing blow than anything. They trade left hooks to the body before backing off. Canelo is stalking the taller Chavez and using his jab to set up his range. A stiff jab from Canelo snaps Junior’s head back at the midway point. A jab-right straight from Alvarez is partially blocked as Chavez backs away. The tension-filled feel-out round goes to Canelo. 10-9 Canelo
Round 2Chavez begins the frame backing up as Alvarez slowly walks him down behind his jab. Canelo lands a left uppercut and then a right cross, followed by a left to the body. Chavez doesn't budge but he absorbs another left to the body, followed by a right uppercut through the guard. Canelo tags “JC Jr” with left hook to the head and body, but Junior comes back with a short burst to the body. Canelo returns the favor with two lefts downstairs. A pair of right uppercuts snap Junior’s head back with a minute left. A four-punch combo from Canelo late as he has taken full control of the action. 10-9 Canelo
Round 3Canelo slides to his left and pops his foe with a nice jab. Chavez is coy as he backs off, trying to time the Guadalajara star. Chavez peppers the shorter man with a jab to the head and then one to the body, but Canelo fires back with a right hook to the guts. Chavez swallows a right-left and then has to absorb a right to the intestines again. Chavez is trying to get things going, but he’s getting too close inside; he’s smothering his own punches. A pair of sizzling jabs again from Canelo, who lands a right to the head. Chavez comes back with a left-right, but a counter from Alvarez bloodies Junior’s nose. A jab-right from Canelo near the bell to punctuate the round. 10-9 Canelo
Round 4Canelo opens the frame with a crisp right to the cheek. Chavez takes it well but he is drilled by a right to the ribs after he misses with a right of his own. Another straight right to the midsection for Canelo, who is stalking Chavez around the ring. Chavez appears to have his knees buckles by a right-left upstairs, but he recovers quickly. A hard right hook to the dome from Canelo and Chavez is hurt. Junior backs into the ropes and eats another right, but Canelo is patient. A left-right-left from Canelo as Chavez again retreats. Chavez finally lands his right hand but it doesn't stop Canelo’s charges. It’s all Canelo in the fourth. 10-9 Canelo
Round 5Alvarez pegs Chavez with a stiff jab as soon as the stanza begins. Chavez backs off and swallows a straight left as he stumbles into a corner. Chavez take a nasty right uppercut on the forehead as he backs away, but he counters with a hard straight right in return, his best punch of the fight. A beautiful three-punch combo from Alvarez snaps Chavez’ head back; Chavez can’t counter. A pair of right uppercuts land cleanly for Canelo as Junior ducks down with about 70 seconds remaining. Canelo cracks his foe with a jab and then a hard right, followed by another jab. There is some swelling around Chavez’ left eye as the round ends. 10-9 Canelo
Round 6A right hook to the body from Alvarez starts the sixth. Canelo sticks a few jabs in Chavez’ face, who has no answers at the moment. They go forehead-to-forehead, but it’s Alvarez who reels off a few uppercuts to the melon. Chavez is coy again until Canelo backs into the ropes. Chavez closes the gap and lets his hands go, but virtually nothing lands. Alvarez wants him there and dares him to keep coming before popping him with a left hook to the face. Canelo eventually forces his fellow Mexican to back off and then tags him with sporadic jabs and rights. Even with the minor furry, it’s all Canelo. 10-9 Canelo
Round 7Chavez storms out of his corner but eventually backs away once he gets close to Alvarez. From there, Canelo lands a few jabs to make him step back. Chavez opens up with a three-punch flurry to the head with Alvarez against the ropes, but they are mostly blocked. Canelo explodes off the ropes with an array of punches to the head and body that force Junior to back off. A hard right to the eye from Alvarez at the midway point. Chavez tries to return the favor, but Canelo continues to punish him with punches upstairs and down. Chavez’ left eye is a swollen, grotesque mess as Alvarez continues to pepper it with rights. 10-9 Canelo
Round 8Chavez needs to think of something different in the latter stages of this fight because he hasn't won a round yet. Canelo hasn’t gunned for the knockout yet but he’s tearing him up. Alvarez drills the taller man with a right to the dome, but Chavez turns around and opens up with a volley of shots to the head and body, though Saul covers up. Chavez paws with a meager right uppercut when his foe gets close, but Alvarez answers with two sharp uppercuts in return. Chavez is reluctant to let his hands go and the crowd is turning on him. Canelo takes his time before nailing his rival with a hard right to the cranium. Another. Chavez has no answers. A stiff jab snaps Chavez’ head back late; a microcosm of the entire fight. 10-9 Canelo
Round 9A hard powerful jab from Alvarez opens the ninth. Chavez looks mentally defeated and frustrated early in the round until he backs Canelo into the ropes. Junior unloads a flurry to the arms of the smaller Mexican and Alvarez lets him swing away. Canelo bounces off the ropes with a right to the cantaloupe that backs Chavez up across the ring. A three-punch combo to the head and body for the Guadalajara fighter before they go head-to-head. Chavez pitter-pats with uppercuts but there’s nothing not hem whatsoever. A stinging overhand right connects cleanly for Canelo with 30 seconds left and the crowd is getting restless. 10-9 Canelo
Round 10A left hook, followed by a stiff jab from Alvarez begins the round. Chavez back away and circles to his left, not willing to let his hands go. A jab, overhand right from Canelo, who is enjoying himself stalking the taller man. Chavez ducks down low and is raked by a right uppercut, allowing blood to flow freely from his nose again. A left hook-right uppercut to the face for Canelo at the midway point, but he’s not gunning for the stoppage. Chavez’ reluctance to throw continues to allow Canelo to do whatever he wants and he does; a four-punch combo to the head and body. The crowd is booing relentlessly late in the round while Canelo potshots Junior from the outside. 10-9 Canelo
Round 11Referee Bayless and the ringside physician have a long look at Chavez in between rounds, but the fight goes on. Canelo rips Junior with a right to the face as soon s the round begins. Chavez is in survival mode and seems content to hang on for the decision. Canelo blasts him with a jab, followed by a straight right. Chavez backs off with nothing in return, eliciting another chorus of boos from the fans. Alvarez sticks a left hook into the liver, followed by a right cross to the cheek. Finally, Chavez shows some life and tosses out a multi-punch combo, but Alvarez blocks them all. Chavez is on his bicycle with a minute left, not looking to engage Canelo in the least. A pair of powerful overhand rights connect fir Alvarez late. 10-9 Canelo
Round 12Chavez obviously needs a miracle knockout here in the 12th, even with the Nevada judges on hand. Canelo hasn’t sat down in between rounds yet and he doesn’t going into the final frame. They touch gloves and there is no sign of urgency for Chavez. Canelo rips him with a pair of jabs and an overhand right to the melon. Alvarez is pressing the issue even more as he chases the bigger mad across the ring. The crowd boos yet again as Junior is unwilling to let his hands go. Alvarez opens up with lefts an rights upstairs, but Chavez can’t or won’t counter. A right-left to the nagging again for Alvarez, who hasn't lost a minute of this fight. Punches connect to the head and body for Saul, who is looking for a stoppage late. Chavez eats a right to the mouth and a left to the guts while he retreats, waiting for the bell to sound. With time running out, Chavez does nothing except eat a few jabs and a right. 10-9 Canelo (120-108 Canelo).
The Official ResultSaul “Canelo” Alvarez def. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. via Unanimous Decision (120-108, 120-108, 120-108)
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