Referee Tony Weeks may have surprised many by calling the fight in the 10th round, but nobody can argue that Saul Alvarez wasn't already headed for a defeat of Alfredo Angulo. Now the question is, what's next for Canelo?
Following his defeat to Floyd Mayweather, Alvarez needed a decisive victory on Saturday night, and that's exactly what he got. By the end of the fight, Angulo had been battered. Both of his eyes were swollen, and his defense was becoming more and more nonexistent in the later rounds.
Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole felt that Weeks' decision to end the bout merely hastened the inevitable:
It might have been early, but let's be honest: Angulo wasn't going to win that fight and he'd take a heck of a lot of major blows— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) March 9, 2014
Boxing writer Bryan Armen Graham called it a "nontroversy":
Canelo stoppage is a nontroversy. Not sure what more people needed to see.— Bryan Armen Graham (@BryanAGraham) March 9, 2014
Only thing more one-sided than #CaneloAngulo will be North Korea's national elections today.— Bryan Armen Graham (@BryanAGraham) March 9, 2014
As you'd expect, Canelo was more than happy with the result, per ESPN.com's Dan Rafael.
"Tonight I was the best fighter," said Alvarez. "I definitely rebounded from the Mayweather fight with a strong performance. I'm very happy. I came here and did my job."
According to Rafael, Canelo was up 89-82 on two scorecards and 88-83 on the other before the stoppage.
Having picked up the rebound win, Alvarez can set his sights on greener and much more lucrative pastures.
A rematch with Mayweather is seemingly out of the picture. People might pay to see it, but there's no reason for Mayweather to take it, considering the one-sided nature of his victory. Maybe Canelo can get that once he's proven himself again.
You don't want to get too ahead of yourself. It's important to temper the excitement after this match. Angulo isn't the best of competition. Fight Network's Corey Erdman compared him to Double-A pitching:
Also, I don't want to hear about Canelo's "improved" defense against the equivalent of Double A pitching.— Corey Erdman (@corey_erdman) March 9, 2014
With Mayweather out of the picture, who does that leave?
Many see Miguel Cotto as the perfect opponent for Alvarez. Although he's 10 years Canelo's senior, Cotto is still boxing at a very high level. And with the boxers' combined popularity, the fight wouldn't have any trouble drawing interest and would bring in huge pay-per-view buys.
These are two guys fans want to see fight each other.
Apparently, the fighters want it to happen, too.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer intimated that the 23-year-old would like to fight the winner of Cotto's bout with Sergio Martinez:
Schaefer said Canelo would love to fight Cotto-Martinez fight but that he won't wait for anyone.— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) March 9, 2014
This idea has been broached before, as Schaefer revealed in November 2013 that he offered Cotto over $10 million to be Alvarez's opponent on March 8. It's an offer that would be hard to turn down a second time.
From Canelo's perspective, there's too much on the line not to pursue this fight. There are plenty of critics out there who wonder whether Alvarez has been built up with wins over inferior opponents and then was found out against Floyd.
Beating Cotto would mean silencing a lot of those detractors and possibly setting up a rematch with Mayweather down the road. At least that's what ESPN's Stephen A. Smith has in mind:
Good body and head movement by Canelo. His defense has improved tremendously. He keeps this up , Cotto's next. Then rematch vs. Floyd. #Must— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) March 9, 2014
Of course, if Martinez were to win, then Canelo may be singing another tune, as that bout wouldn't be anywhere near as profitable as fighting Cotto.
In the event that Cotto isn't Canelo's next opponent, perhaps he could face the winner of the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight, especially if Pac-Man wins. A lot of people would pay to see Pacquiao and Alvarez step into the ring together.
Another option is Erislandy Lara.
Back in February, Lara questioned why Angulo would get a fight against Alvarez. Now, he's using more blatant tactics, mainly storming Canelo's post-match press conference on Saturday night, per Marcos Villegas of Fight Hub TV:
Erislandy Lara: Asks Canelo face to face, 'When are we going to fight?'— marcos villegas (@mellamomarcos) March 9, 2014
ESPN.com's Brian Campbell applauded Lara's "full frontal assault":
All things considered, I have to respect this full frontal assault Lara is doing to get noticed by storming Canelo's press conference.— Brian Campbell (@BCampbellESPN) March 9, 2014
Plenty of promoters try to create drama in order to hype a fight, and then everybody sees right through it. In this case, however, it seems pretty clear that Lara has a problem with Alvarez, and no unnecessary drama is needed.
Whatever decision Alvarez makes, you can bet that he'll do so with both his professional and financial futures in mind. There's no shortage of worthy opponents, so nobody should be worried that his next fight will be as one-sided as his win over Angulo.