By Steve Kim Updated on May 06, 2024

Canelo Keeps on Ticking

Picture for Canelo Keeps on Ticking

Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez's successful defense of his undisputed super middleweight title against Jaime Munguia Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas capped off an eventful week in boxing. 

Here are some thoughts on what took place the past seven days on Bash Blvd.

- We should appreciate 'Canelo' for as long as we have him. Yeah, I know he has his critics (and quite frankly, some of the criticisms are fair) but we should recognize what he's meant to the sport and business of boxing.

His latest win was a convincing 12-round decision over the game Munguia, who had a decent beginning. When Munguia was sent to the canvas in round four, the tide changed. Alvarez's poise and veteran savvy became the story. He has lost an inch of his fastball, but he has found ways to hit corners, change speeds, and still consistently gets guys out.

Picture for Canelo Keeps on TickingGerman Villasenor

Munguia tried his best to overwhelm and outwork the veteran with volume, but Canelo was able to slip and roll with many of the oncoming salvos. Fortifying his defense is a chin that is as stout as ever.  In turn, the champion picked his spots with harder, more accurate punches. No, he doesn't have the volume he once did. He now employs a much more economical pace during fights. Which is understandable given that there are so many miles on the odometer. Alvarez is now 33 years old, with a career that began at age 15. 

You could say he's not what he once was a few years ago (but then again, who is?). It will still take an elite fighter on a good night to defeat him.

-- Last night was Canelo's 65th professional bout(61-2-2, 39 KOs). Chances are that he will finish right around 70 when it's all said and done. It will be a long time, if ever, before we see another star of this caliber who put in this much work throughout a career.

In an era when most boxers settle into fighting twice a year as soon as they win their first world titles, you won't see many more blue-chippers with nearly this many battles. 

Picture for Canelo Keeps on TickingGerman Villasenor

And yes, many of Canelo's early bouts in Mexico were about quantity, but there's no denying the quality of this ledger. Just off the top of my head you have the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Gennadiy Golovkin (three times), Austin Trout, Erislandy Lara, Miguel Cotto, Callum Smith, Billy Joe Saunders, Daniel Jacobs, Sergey Kovalev and Dmitry Bivol. 

Admittedly, he didn't win them all, and you can nitpick certain aspects of his career, but it will be a long time before we see a run like this again. 

- As for Munguia, he won in losing. Ask yourself this, unlike Jermell Charlo back in September: would you want to see this guy again with the way he fought against Alvarez? For me, the answer is a resounding, si'.

In the immortal (and paraphrased) words of Herm Edwards, "He win....the game. HELLO!!!"

Picture for Canelo Keeps on TickingGolden Boy Promotions 

Munguia (43-1, 34 KOs) brings is a fan-friendly and willing style to the table. This worked against him at times while fighting Canelo, but I'd much rather see a guy who's throwing punches instead of putting them on lay-a-way. It's my view that this loss will make him a better fighter. It's clear that Freddie Roach has something to work with, but there is still some work to do. 

This is a guy that will make for plenty of good fights in the super middleweight division in the future. 

- There was bad news announced on Friday. Unified light heavyweight champion, Artur Beterbiev, has suffered a knee injury in training. Unfortunately, his June 1 appointment against Dmitry Bivol, for all the belts at 175, will be postponed.

For as strong and powerful as Beterbiev (20-0, 20 KOs) is, he's also just as fragile.

Picture for Canelo Keeps on TickingTop Rank

Like death and taxes, the yearly Beterbiev injury that delays a fight is inevitable. The last time he performed twice in a year was in 2021. Keep this in mind, he is now 39 years old. Time is not on his side. In reaction to this unfortunate news,  Bivol will reportedly stay on that date in Saudi Arabia, and take a tune-up bout.

- Finally,  Ryan Garcia's failed VADA drug test for his bout with Devin Haney on April 20 dominated the news cycle last week. The tests were administered the day before the fight, and afterwards.

Picture for Canelo Keeps on Ticking

Ostarine, the selective androgen receptor modulator that aids in muscle growth, was found in his system. 

Garcia maintained his innocence, asked for the B-sample to be tested, and an investigation of all his supplements. It will be interesting to see how this story plays out. 


About Author
Canelo Keeps on Ticking
  • Hosted 'the Main Event' on KIEV 870, and then later XTRA AM1150 ( a three hour show devoted to boxing) from 1996 to 1999.
  • Joined one of the first boxing websites, 'House of Boxing' in 1999, and then later became one of the founders of Maxboxing, that started in 2001, till his departure in 2014.
  • From 2014 to 2018, he was the lead columnist for
  • Was a boxing reporter for from 2018 to 2020.
  • He has written for Ring Magazine, International Boxing Digest and Boxing News.
  • Is the co-host of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez, which has become of the most popular boxing podcasts the past several years.
  • Steve has also served as an announcer and analyst for RingTV, Thompson Boxing, 360 Promotions and CBS Sports Network.