Patient 'Canelo' Alvarez Resisted Stopping Jaime Munguia

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez insisted he could have stopped Jaime Munguia after knocking him down in the fourth round – and he then backed his fellow Mexican to learn valuable lessons from his first defeat.

Alvarez defended his undisputed super-middleweight title by earning a unanimous decision at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, having not only become the first to defeat Munguia, but the first to knock him down, as he did when he landed a powerful right uppercut.

On the occasion of his biggest fight and Cinco de Mayo weekend, the 27-year-old Munguia regardless emerged with an enhanced reputation as a consequence of the aggressive display that ensured so entertaining a contest. While Alvarez remains the world’s leading fighter – largely because of his ability to improve after his toughest fights – Munguia can expect to secure further high-profile dates.

“I could have finished the fight but I took my time,” said the 33 year old. “That’s why there’s 12 rounds to see who’s the best. I took my time and I don’t want to make mistakes, so I did what I was supposed to do to win. Munguia’s a strong fighter; you need to be careful with that. I just take my time.

“He’s strong. He’s smart. But he’s a little slow, so I can do things fast, and throw my punches and my combinations. That uppercut – you need to work to get that kind of combination.

“Munguia is definitely going to learn a lot. He did a good job; fought his hardest. I hit him in the body multiple times, but he’s going to grow from this; he’s going to learn and he’s going to be better for it. As far as who my successor might be in boxing, I just hope that it might be a Mexican. Him, or somebody else.

“I feel great. I feel proud about this fight. All the Mexicans enjoyed it, and I feel great. I knew Munguia was going to be tough; he’s a strong fighter; he has a lot pride, but I did what I needed to do to win.

“I feel great with the victory – it always feels good, and we both did a really good fight. I’m grateful for everybody my team. It’s a big win for Mexico; we’re both Mexicans. I feel proud about it; I think people enjoyed it a lot.

“I take away his bravery. I always try to take the good things out of every fight. With this one I still have to process it – I can’t really go into that much detail – but I take his bravery away from this fight, because he was hurt and he still came forward and still tried, and being that brave is something that I admire.”

Alvarez was again asked, post-fight, if he is ready to fight David Benavidez – the opponent who has come to be considered his greatest threat. Edgar Berlanga is expected to be his next challenger, in September, and the champion responded: “We’ll see. We’ll see. I’m gonna rest and talk with my team, and like I said, everybody’s asking for everything. I always fight with everybody, but right now I’m in the position I can ask him to and I can do whatever I want. We’ll see what happens next.”

"Canelo is still in his prime,” said his trainer Eddy Reynoso. “Someone that dominates round one to round 12. Munguia’s a young fighter and Canelo was able to showcase that. But tonight he was a young veteran, regardless of the amount of fights that he has had, and we feel like we can still go a long way.”