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Alvarez defeats Lara in controversial split decision

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In a light middleweight bout, Canelo Alvarez (44-1, 31 KOs) defeated Erislandy Lara (19-2, 12 KOs) in a controversial split decision win Saturday night before a capacity crowd at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas. The event was presented by Golden Boy Promotions, and televised live on Showtime PPV.

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Lara had Alvarez frustrated early by moving around the ring, showing good speed and landing punches. The style of Alvarez, a forward moving fighter kept the fight in the center of the ring for the most part.

Alvarez had to constantly pursue Lara, preventing him from setting the tone of the fight in the early rounds. The speed and movement of Lara was working to his advantage up to this point.

In round four, a more aggressive Canelo had success landing some hard body shots to Lara. The crafty Lara would answer back with with a precision left, causing the right eye of Canelo to bruise. Lara would not end the round unscaved however, a small cut above his right eye was visible.

The action was in full bloom in round five, the speed and reach of Lara had him landing shots on Alvarez at will, but the persistent body shots thrown by Alvarez were certainly getting the attention of Lara.

The late rounds were tipping in the favor of Lara, an inspection of Lara's eye by the doctor determined that the cut was not deep enough, and allowed the fight to continue. Boxing fans at MGM Grand Garden were getting their money's worth as the two continued to trade blows, Lara using the ring, and Alvarez moving forward.

The body shots by Alvarez were quickly answered with combinations by Lara, smart fighting by Lara continued to frustrate Canelo. The fight appeared to be close and difficult to score, not all the body shots thrown by Alvarez were landing and Lara was the busier fighter.

The final round appeared to be in favor of Lara, he was doing a nice job landing combinations on Alvarez. The body shots on Lara kept coming, but Lara kept moving, even when on the ropes Lara boxed his way out, clinching Alvarez and keeping him at bay.

In the end, Canelo would win in what many viewed as controversial split decision. Judge Dave Moretti scores the bout 115-113 for Canelo, Jerry Roth scores the bout 113-115 for Lara, and a wide score of 117-111 by Levi Martinez, has the bout in favor of Canelo.