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.”