CANELO ALVAREZ RETAINS UNDISPUTED SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT CROWN WITH DOMINANT UNANIMOUS DECISION OVER JERMELL CHARLO IN SHOWTIME PPV® MAIN EVENT SATURDAY NIGHT FROM T-MOBILE ARENA IN LAS VEGAS
Erickson Lubin, Mario Barrios and Elijah Garcia
Score Victories on Loaded Pay-Per-View Undercard
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Premier Boxing Champions
LAS VEGAS – September 30, 2023 – Undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Álvarez successfully defended his world titles by dropping Jermell Charlo on his way to a dominant unanimous decision (119-109, 118-109 twice) in the SHOWTIME PPV main event Saturday night from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Canelo Promotions presented the Premier Boxing Champions pay-per-view. Canelo’s seventh-round knockdown can be viewed HERE.
“I’m a strong fighter all the time, against all the fighters,” said Canelo. “I’m a strong man. Nobody can beat this Canelo.”
Canelo (60-2-2, 39 KOs) was dominant from start to finish, using the masterful ring IQ and sublime power that’s made him a future Hall of Famer to flummox the junior middleweight king Charlo (35-2-1, 19 KOs). Moving up two weight classes in an attempt to reign in two divisions, Charlo was able to occasionally land flush but was met with a wall of resistance from Canelo.
“I just felt like I wasn’t me in there,” said Charlo. “I don’t make excuses for myself, so it is what it is. I take my punches and roll with it. It’s boxing. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.”
Charlo’s defense first showed cracks in the early rounds when Canelo’s signature power hooks to the body had a clear effect on him and forced him to focus largely on defense in the first half of the fight. In round seven, Canelo broke through with a looping overhand right that stunned Charlo and forced him to take a knee.
“Truthfully, I could feel the difference in the weight,” said Charlo. “I picked up 14 pounds. I am undisputed in my weight division. You fall short sometimes, but you just have to keep on pushing. My roll don’t stop right here. I’m proud of myself. He hit me with some hard shots. I thought I got mine off. I’m the little Charlo and I represent that.”
The rest of the seventh round saw Charlo fight intelligently, and even land some of his cleanest shots to make it to the bell. Charlo initially showed more urgency but was unable to deter the surgical precision of Canelo’s offense and defense. Canelo dominated the CompuBox stats as well as the scorecards, owning a 134 to 71 advantage in total punches landed, including an impressive 42 body shots.
“We worked on attacking the body,” said Canelo. “We know he’s a great fighter. He knows how to move in the ring. We worked on attacking the body for three months. For three months in the mountains without my family, without everything.”
The championship rounds saw more of the same as Canelo cruised to the final bell while being serenaded with chants from his thousands of loyal fans in attendance. After thanking his legions of supporters, Canelo declared himself open to facing anyone next .
“I still love boxing,” said Canelo. “I love boxing so much. Boxing is my life. Boxing made me the person I am today. That’s why I love boxing so much. And I love boxing so much because of my fans, too…Cinco de Mayo I’ll face whoever. I don’t care.”
In the co-main event, top super welterweight contender Erickson “Hammer” Lubin (26-2, 18 KOs) took home a unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten Jesus “Mono” Ramos Jr. (20-1, 16 KOs) after 12 rounds, winning on all three cards by scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113.
“We went in there to feel him out and box him and beat him to the punch with counters because of his strength,” said Lubin. “It was working all night. I was sticking and moving. It was ‘Boxing 101’.”
“I felt like I did a little more than him, but that’s alright,” said Ramos. “Congratulations to Erickson Lubin. He was sharp. He had a good game plan. Congratulations to him, it’s back to the drawing board. We’ll come back.”
Having previously lost a pair of fights to Jermell Charlo and Sebastian Fundora, Lubin put himself back into contention for another world title fight with the win on Saturday. The 27-year-old’s success came largely off the back foot as he frequently allowed Ramos to come to him and walked him into counter shots.
“My jab was landing all night,” said Lubin. “He had all his success when I was on the ropes. My coach was telling me to stay off the ropes, so I was trying my best to do that. He didn’t show it too much, but I buzzed him a few times.”
Although Ramos held a 145 to 92 edge in punches landed, the judges appeared to favor the defensive work and consistent jab (378 thrown to 274) of Lubin. Although disappointed in the result, Ramos expressed an eagerness to learn from the experience post fight.
“I felt like I was just trying to show different dimensions to my game and not just come forward,” said Ramos. “It is what it is. I’ll take this loss, come back and learn from it. I learned not to let it go to the judges. Maybe I don’t put it on cruise control next time. A little more pressure. I’ll learn from this. It was a good experience.”
Buoyed by the decision victory, Lubin was adamant about his place in the stacked 154-pound division and his belief that he should be fighting for a world title sooner than later.
“This shows that I’m no gatekeeper,” said Lubin. “I’m one of the top dogs in the division. I need a title shot. If those belts present themselves at 154 pounds, I’d like to fight for those belts.”
In a battle of former world champions, San Antonio’s Mario “El Azteca” Barrios (28-2, 18 KOs) scored two knockdowns and earned the Interim WBC Welterweight Title with an impressive unanimous decision (117-108, 118-107 twice) over Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas (27-6, 12 KOs) in their pay-per-view undercard attraction.
“I’m sore but I’m full of excitement and joy right now,” said Barrios. “Everything from camp paid off tonight. I’m happy with my performance. I’ve always thought very highly of Ugas and I have even more respect for him now. He put up a hell of a fight and I’m thankful to him for the opportunity.”
Barrios landed the first momentum-shifting blow of the fight late in round two as he snuck in a strong left hand against the charging Ugas, sending the former welterweight champion to the floor. Ugas was unfazed in rising to his feet, but the shot portended the difficulties he’d have in beating the younger Barrios to the punch.
“The first knockdown definitely set the tone because early on he caught me with a nice liver shot that slowed me down a little bit,” said Barrios. “Once I settled down and found that quick little jab, that’s when I was able to start picking up the pace.”
The speed discrepancy didn’t stop Ugas from getting back into the fight as he utilized an increased body attack and several sharp right hands to try to slow down Barrios. Barrios’ activity made it difficult for Ugas to build momentum, as he out-threw Ugas 810 to 484 and landed more jabs (107) than Ugas landed total shots (101).
The consistent attack from Barrios began to wear on Ugas, who’s right eye swelled up and forced observation from the ringside physician three times before the fight’s final three rounds. In round 12, Barrios closed the show in style, landing a flush counter left hook against the swelling eye of Ugas, putting him down for the second time in the fight. While trying to survive the round, Ugas’ mouthpiece fell out twice, prompting referee Tom Taylor to deduct a point before the final bell. With his best win at 147 pounds in hand, Barrios set his sights on more big fights at welterweight.
“I want to take it further and contend for the main WBC title,” said Barrios. “I know that there are steps to get there. I’m going to sit down with my team and we’re going to see what’s next.”
In the pay-per-view opener, rising middleweight sensation Elijah Garcia (16-0, 13 KOs) emerged victorious via eighth-round TKO in an electrifying firefight against Armando Reséndiz (14-2, 10 KOs).
“It was a really hard fight,” said the 20-year-old Garcia. “Reséndiz is good people. He was really tough. I wish him the best. This was 100 percent my toughest fight so far. I left everything I could in the ring.”
“I should have listened to my corner a lot more,” said Reséndiz. “Maybe I got too distracted, but Elijah was the better fighter and I have to accept that.”
The back-and-forth action began heating up in round two as both men unloaded heavy shots. Midway through the round, Reséndiz appeared to buckle Garcia with a series of unanswered right hands, before Garcia rallied to lend several power shots of his own to close out the frame.
The contest remained nip and tuck through the early rounds, until Garcia adjusted his pattern of movement in round five to keep himself from squaring up to a circling Reséndiz. This gave Garcia ample space to land power left hands, which buoyed his impressive 46% connect rate on power punches. Overall, Garcia held a 165 to 102 edge in power punches landed.
“I countered to the body and came up to the head,” said Garcia. “I hadn’t doubled up on my hook. I saw that he was hurt. I do what I do. I finished. I knew he was hurt on the ropes. I was hitting him with some really hard punches. He was really tough, but I finished him off.”
Garcia’s adjustments proved fruitful early in round eight as he connected on a blistering counter right hand that wobbled Reséndiz and sent him to the mat. Although he was able to get to his feet, Garcia gave him little room to breathe and followed up with a series of hooks that forced referee Tony Weeks to call off the fight 1:23 into the eighth.
“Besides listening more to my corner, I would like to redeem myself and give it my all once again soon,” said Reséndiz. “I would like to apologize to my fans, but I promise I’ll come back stronger.”
“I want to be a mandatory for a title pretty soon,” said Garcia. “I’ll be 21 in April and I’m gonna keep taking it one step at a time. I learned a lot in this fight. I still let him control the fight too much.”
Preceding the pay-per-view, action streaming live on the SHOWTIME SPORTS YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing® Facebook page was topped by heavyweight contender Frank “The Cuban Flash” Sanchez (23-0, 16 KOs) scoring a fourth-round TKO over Scott Alexander (17-6-2, 9 KOs). After both men ate big power shots in round one, Sanchez grabbed the momentum with an early knockdown in round two, before eventually inciting a flurry late in round four that caused an end to the bout between rounds.
The stream also featured 2012 U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha (24-3-1, 12 KOs) earning a majority decision (76-76, 78-74 twice) over KeAndrae Leatherwood (23-9-1, 13 KOs) after eight rounds of middleweight action. Plus, former light heavyweight world champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk (20-1, 16 KOs) delivered a right cross in round two that ended the night for Isaac Rodrigues (28-5, 22 KOs), as referee Tony Weeks halted the fight 54 seconds into the frame.
Veteran sportscaster Brian Custer hosted the SHOWTIME PPV telecast while versatile combat sports voice Mauro Ranallo handled blow-by-blow action alongside Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein and three-division world champion Abner Mares. Three Hall of Famers rounded out the telecast team – Emmy®-winning reporter Jim Gray, world-renowned ring announcer Jimmy Lennon, Jr., and boxing historian Steve Farhood, who served as unofficial scorer. Four-time Emmy® Award winner David Dinkins, Jr. executive-produced the telecast with Bob Dunphy directing. Sportscaster Alejandro Luna called the action in Spanish on Secondary Audio Programming (SAP) with former world champion and SHOBOX: The New Generation® commentator Raúl “El Diamante” Marquez serving as the expert analyst. Felix DeJesus serves as Spanish language interpreter.
The SHOWTIME PPV COUNTDOWN show was hosted by award-winning MORNING KOMBAT live digital talk show hosts Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell.
The main event of Canelo vs. Charlo will premiere on SHOWTIME on Saturday, October 7 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT followed by the premiere of the EMMY Award winning series ALL ACCESS: CANELO VS. JERMELL CHARLO EPILOGUE.
The event was promoted by Canelo Promotions and TGB Promotions.