LAS VEGAS – Canelo Alvarez won a close split-decision victory over Erislandy Lara in the SHOWTIME PPV main event in front a sold-out pro-Canelo crowd at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
Judge Jerry Roth scored it 115-113 for Lara, Dave Moretti 115-113 for Canelo and Levi Martinez 117-111 for Canelo.
The Mexico vs. Cuba showdown was a classic boxer-puncher matchup with Mexican superstar Canelo as the powerful aggressor and Cuban sensation Lara the slick boxing southpaw.
Canelo started the bout patiently and picked his spots, but Lara’s footwork and movement seemed to frustrate him. Canelo became increasingly more aggressive as he tried to cut off Lara. Canelo landed only 23 percent of his total punches including 73 power shots to the body.
A decorated Cuban amateur, Lara displayed superb footwork limiting Canelo’s chances and scoring when necessary. The game plan was effective as he frustrated the 23-year-old superstar.
“One hundred percent I won this fight,” Lara said. “I was controlling the rounds and, worse, I made him look bad in front of his fans. People know I won this fight.
“The body shots connected but they didn’t have any force. I still have no respect for him. I’m asking for a rematch. One hundred percent I’ll do the same and we’ll win again.”