After losing to Floyd Mayweather in his most recent fight, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez is out for redemption as he takes on Alfredo "El Perro" Angulo in an anticipated light middleweight encounter Saturday night in Las Vegas.
While there is no question that Alvarez is taking a step down in terms of opponent quality, Angulo is a capable boxer with big-time punching power. This fight will definitely be a challenge for Canelo, and it could ultimately be a defining moment for the 31-year-old Angulo.
Although the undercard has taken a hit in recent weeks, there are still several additional bouts that are worth checking out. This may not be the most highly touted pay-per-view in recent memory, but it could end up being one of the best from an entertainment standpoint.
Here is everything you need to know about how to watch the Canelo vs. Angulo pay-per-view along with further analysis of the entire card.
Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
When: Saturday, March 8 at 9 p.m. ET
Watch: Showtime PPV
Live Stream: Countdown to Canelo-Angulo pre-show can be viewed via ShoSports on YouTube
|Canelo Alvarez vs. Alfredo Angulo||Light Middleweight||12|
|Leo Santa Cruz vs. Cristian Mijares||Super Bantamweight||12|
|Jorge Linares vs. Nihito Arakawa||Lightweight||10|
|Ricardo Alvarez vs. Sergio Thompson||Lightweight||10|
Breaking Down Fight Card
Canelo Alvarez vs. Alfredo Angulo
In the main event of the evening, Canelo will look to bounce back from the first loss of his career, while Angulo will seek the biggest victory of his. Not surprisingly, Alvarez is heavily favored to come out on top. At the same time, there is plenty of pressure on him, and that could prove to be an equalizer in many ways.
According to ESPN's Dan Rafael, Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer essentially views this as a must-win fight for Canelo in terms of maintaining his lofty standing:
This is a very significant fight for Canelo because if he would lose, I think it would be a major step back. It would be more than just a loss. With Mayweather, it was a loss, but in a way it was sort of like, you're 23 years old, you learn, and everybody lost against Mayweather, including his Mexican compatriot Juan Manuel Marquez, who lost every second of every round and still had the biggest fights ahead of him. But this one here, if you go and lose against Angulo, in a way it would be devastating.
Also, there is already some measure of controversy entering the fight. The weight was set at 154 pounds, but Alvarez weighed in at 155 pounds. According to Rafael, though, the contract allowed Alvarez to weigh up to 155 pounds:
#CaneloAngulo contract said 154 plus 1. Canelo could weigh 155. Deal struck for 100k payment if Canelo over 155, which they said he'd be.— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) March 7, 2014
For all the buzz surrounding the weigh-in, it likely won't make a major impact on the fight. Angulo is a knockout guy who is going to go for the gusto regardless. He has an outside shot to beat Alvarez if he is able to catch him sleeping, but look for Canelo to return to his winning ways Saturday.
Leo Santa Cruz vs. Cristian Mijares
It may not be the headliner, but it can certainly be argued that the super bantamweight bout between Leo Santa Cruz and Cristian Mijares is the most important fight on Saturday's card. According to Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Journal-Review, it stands as the only title contest that will be contested:
With Molina out, Saturday's #CaneloAngulo card down to one world title fight (Santa Cruz-Mijares WBC Super bantamweight) from original 3.— Steve Carp (@stevecarprj) March 7, 2014
Carp alluded to the cancellation of the fight between Carlos Molina and Jermall Charlo. Per Rafael, Molina has been jailed due to immigration issues, which led to the fight being called off. That now places even more emphasis on Santa Cruz and Mijares as they attempt to complement the main event.
The 25-year-old Santa Cruz enters the fight with a perfect 25-0 record, but Mijares is a savvy veteran with a huge experience edge. Mijares will provide a stiff challenge, although it's difficult to imagine Santa Cruz falling short here.
Jorge Linares vs. Nihito Arakawa
Another potentially underrated contest to keep tabs on is the lightweight battle between Jorge Linares and Nihito Arakawa. It was a late addition to the main card because of all the shuffling that has been done, but Steve Farhood of Showtime Sports is extremely excited about the decision:
Linares-Arakawa is an amazing addition to the Canelo PPV undercard this Saturday. What a contrast: Linares so skilled, Arakawa so tough ...— Steve Farhood (@SteveFarhood) March 5, 2014
Linares and Arakawa are two fighters who don't hesitate to get involved in a slugfest. Linares enters the fight with four straight impressive wins to his credit, while Arakawa is looking to bounce back from a tough loss to Omar Figueroa.
This fight could very well launch one of these men into lightweight contention, while the other will certainly get knocked down a couple rungs. Based on the fact that Linares is the younger, hungrier fighter and is in better form, expect him to come out on top.
Ricardo Alvarez vs. Sergio Thompson
The opening fight of the night will pit two impressive Mexican fighters against each other as Ricardo Alvarez and Sergio Thompson lock horns in a lightweight bout. According to Rafael, it has the potential to be superior to Molina vs. Charlo:
If that is the case, then this should be a barn-burner. Alvarez is known more as a tactical fighter, while Thompson prefers to end his fights quickly. Of Thompson's 28 wins, 26 have come by way of knockout. Alvarez has never been knocked out, though, so something has to give.
Due to the fact that Alvarez has a reach advantage and should be able to hold Thompson at bay, a decision victory for Alvarez is the likeliest conclusion.
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