By Marc Livitz at ringside in San Antonio, TX: Canelo Alvarez didn’t disappoint this evening as he earned a highly competitive unanimous decision victory in the presence of nearly 40,000 adoring fans at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Canelo’s walk to ring was highlighted by a laser light show in addition to nearly every fan in attendance screaming their respective adulation for their national hero. Austin Trout’s ring walk was showered with boos, which is something he admitted several times over was to be expected.
The nerves perhaps didn’t immediately settle for either fighter after the opening bell sounded. Tens of thousands were watching Canelo’s every move and they reacted with near maniacal applause when he came close to landing a shot. Trout used his jab and boxed effectively. Alvarez was much the aggressor in the second. Southpaw Austin still used his quick right jab until Canelo caught him flush with a right cross after one minute had elapsed.
Another strong right followed and he found his jab as well. Las Cruces, New Mexico resident Trout landed a weak right cross to begin the third. He followed this with an impressive two shot combination to the body shortly thereafter, yet Canelo then responded. Trout was moving more at this point. Alvarez closed the round with a solid left jab. Round four was Canelo’s. He used the jab and employed an effective tactic: hitting Trout squarely in the chest. He connected with a powerful right to end the first third of the contest.
Austin was a bit more on the defensive side as the fifth commenced. He was backing up a bit more and found it difficult to break through Alvarez’s tough guard. When he could, Canelo drew roars from the crowd as he slipped a few shots. He popped Trout with a strong right to close the round, yet Austin shook his head in disapproval.
Round six was a bit more even as each fighter landed their share of shots. Trout had Alvarez on the ropes for a short moment. He landed some and missed some until Canelo responded. He misfired on an uppercut but he connected with another good right to beat the closing bell.
Round seven saw the first knockdown of the fight. Canelo threw a perfectly timed straight right which caught Austin squarely on the chin just as the period got rolling. Trout made it to his feet but was clearly on wobbly legs. Alvarez gave him more to wobble about shortly thereafter with another convincing right hand. Trout found his ground and continued to jab at his Guadalajara foe. Rounds eight and nine were noticeably different. Canelo may have taken some of the eighth off, yet he saved his showmanship for the ninth. Alvarez eluded Trout for much of the eighth.
Canelo came to life after Austin Trout connected a quick and snapping left and right combination to the body and head. He shuffled his feet. He bobbed his head to and fro. He stuck his head out in Trout’s direction.
Austin came out fast in the tenth. He landed another combination and as before, Saul responded, this time with a hard right uppercut. Each fighter was landing close shots. The Jalisco fighter connected with another right uppercut to begin the eleventh stanza. Trout landed a good right of his own and Canelo returned the favor and hit Austin in the chest once again.
The fight seemed to fly on by. It may have been the fastest thirty six minutes of fighting this reporter has ever seen. The crowd followed Canelo’s every move. Trout tried to push the action in the last round. He’d jab away and throw the occasional left and as before, Canelo would reply with one shot and to much greater effect. He landed a hard left to close out the night.
Tonight in San Antonio, there would be no repeat of September 1993. Julio Cesar Chavez had 15,000 more spectators in the Alamodome when he fought Pernell Whitaker and many called the draw a broad daylight heist. This evening held a far different ending. The fight ended and was left in the hands of the judges.
Rey Danseco scored the bout 115-112. Stanley Christodoulou turned in an inexplicable score card which read 118-109 and Oren Shellenberger saw the bout significantly closer at 116-111. Saul "Canelo" Alvarez unified the junior middleweight division with the win. He remains unbeaten now at 42(30)-0-1) and is the holder of the WBC, WBA and the coveted Ring Magazine titles. In a valiant effort, Austin "No Doubt" Trout suffered the first loss of his career and fell to (26(14)-1).
The victorious Canelo spoke highly of his opponent and made his future intentions clear afterwards.
"Austin was a very good fighter but I was smart. Little by little, I figured out how to fight him. I learned a lot from this fight. It was a great experience for me and San Antonio was a great atmosphere. I heard the fans chanting and it was great. They asked if I want Mayweather? Of course I want Mayweather next.", said the undefeated Mexican champion.
Austin Trout was gracious in defeat and assured the boxing world that he would return.
"The better man won tonight. I’ll be better next time. He caught me with a good shot and there’s nothing else I can say. I tried to push the action and he stayed with me the whole time. I’m sorry that I lost this time, but I’ll be back."