Alvarez Stops Goncalo
By Eric Thomas: Unbeaten welterweight contender Saul Alvarez (27-0-1, 20 KOs) defeated Jeferson Luis Goncalo (12-4-3, 5 KOs) by a 9th round stoppage on Saturday night at the Parque Xcaret, in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Alvarez, only 18 and ranked #5 in the World Boxing Council welterweight division, hurt Goncalo with an uppercut in the 9th and then unloaded on him with a series of powerful combinations to knock him down.
Goncalo fell backwards onto the canvas hitting the back of his head as he landed. Referee Russell Mora immediately stopped the bout at 1:54 of the round and oxygen was administered to Goncalo briefly before he was able to open his eyes and start moving his limbs.
Alvarez fought well and handled Goncalo’s big looping shots like an experienced pro. Alvarez took the fight to Goncalo through the first three rounds, although Goncalo began to stalk Alvarez steadily from the 5th until the stoppage in the 9th. Alvarez landed a lot of nice looking shots, especially his uppercuts and hooks to the body. He’s not that big of a puncher yet but Alvarez was able to summon some decent power when he was throwing uppercuts.
In rounds one and two, Alvarez was all over Goncalo, shooting right hands down the middle and hooks to the body. With his red hair, Alvarez looked like a slightly bigger version of Ricky Hatton except with better defense and slightly less power.
In the first two rounds, Goncalo looked cautious and held his guard up high trying to block Alvarez’s incoming fire. Alvarez kept a constant jab in Goncalo’s face and didn’t let up for more than a few seconds between punches in either of the rounds.
Goncalo attempted only a few punches in the 3rd and 4th rounds, but was able to connect almost every time he would try. Alvarez seemed to be getting a little cocky and was forgetting about his defense in his effort to try and look good out there. In the 4th round, Goncalo began to turn the heat up on Alvarez in the final minute of the round, nailing him with big looping right hands to the head and showing good power.
Goncalo continued to fight well into the 5th and 6th rounds, landing almost as often as Alvarez and with the bigger shots. Now, Goncalo was being the aggressor and backing Alvarez up to the ropes quite frequently. Alvarez was smart enough to get off the ropes before long, but he still took some big shots while backed up in that position.
The 7th and 8th rounds, Goncalo landed often with big right hands and succeeded in out-landing Alvarez in the round. Like in the previous round, Alvarez made the mistake of falling back to the ropes and trying to fight Goncalo from that position. It didn’t work well and Alvarez was hit with some big shots.
In the 9th, Goncalo was again taking the fight to Alvarez when suddenly Goncalo got nailed with a big right uppercut to that head that hurt. He immediately backed up several steps while still covering up. Alvarez then went after him and hit him with a volley of hard shots to the head ending with a left-right combination that sent Goncalo down back first on the canvas. He was out before he the canvas and laid there for 10 to 15 seconds with his eyes closed as the referee checked on him. The bout was then stopped at 1:54 of the round.