- Dan Rafael, Boxing
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LAS VEGAS -- Junior middleweight titlist Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, the 21-year-old Mexican star, was matched with old warhorse and former champ Shane Mosley for one reason: to etch the name of the likely Hall of Famer on his résumé.
And etch it he did in the co-feature, winning a unanimous decision to retain his title for the fourth time on the card headlined by Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s junior middleweight title challenge of Miguel Cotto on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Alvarez, with his youth and power, muscled his way past Mosley, whose reflexes and speed are gone at age 40 after a 19-year career and hundreds of amateur fights.
But unlike his past three fights -- in which Mosley did almost nothing in losses to Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao and a draw with Sergio Mora -- Mosley came to fight.
His will was clearly there. But he could not make his body fire at will as he once did.
Alvarez was happy to take advantage, cleaning Mosley's clock with numerous clean right hands and left hooks. Both fighters worked hard to the body, but Alvarez seemed to win that battle, too, on his way to winning by scores of 119-109, 119-109 and 118-110. ESPN.com had it for Alvarez, 118-110.
"This was a great experience," Alvarez said. "I felt really good and I want to thank Shane for giving me this experience. He's a great fighter, a true veteran. I tried to knock him out. He took a lot of punches, but it didn't work."
Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 KOs) repeatedly rocked Mosley (46-8-1, 39 KOs) with shots, landing 348 of 673 punches (52 percent). Mosley couldn't get away from even looping right hands. It was the most blows landed on Mosley in the 34 of his fights that CompuBox has tracked.
"His defense was really good and he was really fast," said Mosley, who has won five titles in three divisions. "He can go a long ways. When the kids start to beat you, you might need to start going to promoting. I didn't expect him to be that fast or that good.
"He's up there with the top guys [I've faced]. Mayweather is fast, Cotto, all those guys I fought. He's up there with them."
Alvarez, fighting on the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo and with the crowd behind him, suffered a small cut over his left eye in the third round from an accidental head-butt, but it was a dominant round for him, including rocking Mosley with a clean right hand. The cut never became a serious factor, even though there was a trickle of blood running down Alvarez's face in the late rounds.
"The cut didn't really bother me," he said. "My corner knew how to handle the situation. This is a huge night for me, all of the experience, the cut, all of it was new."
Mosley managed to land 183 of 745 punches (25 percent), according to CompuBox.
Quintana knocks out Latimore
Junior middleweights Carlos Quintana (29-3, 23 KOs) and Deandre Latimore (23-4, 17 KOs) have both been in world title fights and both are trying to earn their way back to another. In Saturday's fight, it was Quintana, a former welterweight titlist from Puerto Rico, who moved a step closer to another opportunity.
Quintana looked very sharp in a sixth-round knockout of Latimore, 26, who is from St. Louis but lives in Las Vegas. Latimore got the prime spot on the pay-per-view because he is with Mayweather's team, but he was outclassed.
"The fight was very good, I'm very happy," Quintana said. "I went 15 months without fighting and it's great to be back."
Quintana, 35, had a lot of success with his left hand, moving Latimore back and landing numerous clean shots. Latimore was warned for a low blow in the second round and then suffered a cut over his left eye in the third round.
"I kept going forward and going for his eye," Quintana said.
In the fifth round, Quintana trapped Latimore on the ropes and landed several hard blows that had referee Kenny Bayless looking closely at a possible stoppage.
Then Quintana ended matters in the sixth round. He landed a series of flush overhand lefts, the final one dropping Latimore hard on his side in highlight-reel fashion. Latimore tried to make it to his feet, but Bayless counted him out at 2 minutes, 19 seconds.
Latimore's only title opportunity came in 2009, when he lost a split decision to St. Louis rival Cory Spinks. He won three bouts in a row before running into Quintana, a southpaw who held a welterweight world title for four months in 2008 when he upset Paul Williams via unanimous decision. However, Williams knocked him out in the first round of their rematch.
Quintana has been quite inactive since. This was only his fourth fight since 2008.
• Welterweight Jessie Vargas (19-0, 9 KOs), a Mayweather protégé, boxed his way to a dominant, although action-free, decision against late replacement Steve Forbes (35-11, 11 KOs).
Vargas was originally supposed to face two-time world title challenger Alfonso Gomez (23-5-2, 12 KOs), but Gomez was sidelined about 10 days before the fight by a severe case of back spasms.
Forbes, 35, of Las Vegas and a former junior lightweight titlist and runner-up on "The Contender" reality series, took the fight on short notice, but he was already in good shape because he had been training for his own fight a couple of weeks ago, which had been called off when his opponent failed a prefight medical exam.
Vargas, 22, of Las Vegas, was much taller and used his longer reach to control Forbes with ease throughout the fight. There were very few punches of consequence landed in what amounted to a glorified sparring session. All three judges had it for Vargas, 100-90, 98-92 and 97-93.
• Featherweight Braulio Santos (6-0, 5 KOs), of Puerto Rico, cruised to a unanimous six-round decision against Juan Sandoval (5-9-1, 3 KOs), of San Bernardino, Calif. All three judges scored the bout 59-55.
• Lightweight prospect Omar Figueroa (16-0-1, 13 KOs), of Weslaco, Texas, took a few licks but pounded out Robbie Cannon (12-7-2, 6 KOs), of Pevely, Mo., at 2 minutes, 8 seconds of the second round of a scheduled eight-rounder. Figueroa, who recently signed with powerful adviser Al Haymon, dropped Cannon with a hard left hand to the body in the second round. Cannon showed a lot of grit and landed some clean shots, but Figueroa took them well and returned fire, dropping him hard with a clean left hook to the jaw. Although Cannon made it to his feet, he was in no shape to go on, and referee Vic Drakulich called off the fight.
• Welterweight Keith Thurman (17-0, 16 KOs), 23, of Clearwater, Fla., smoked Brandon Hoskins (16-1-1, 8 KOs), of Hannibal, Mo., stopping him with a barrage of blows 25 seconds into the third round. Thurman scored a flash knockdown in the second round but poured it on in the third. He landed a tremendous right uppercut that snapped back the head of Hoskins, who was never the same after the punch. Thurman unloaded another big right and several other punches before referee Russell Mora stepped into save Hoskins.
• San Diego-based, Mexico-born welterweight prospect Antonio Orozco (14-0, 10 KOs), 24, stopped Dillet Frederick (8-6-3, 5 KOs), of Fort Myers, Fla., at 1 minute, 45 seconds of the third round in the first bout of the card.
Saul Alvarez suffered the first cut of his career Saturday, but Shane Mosley took the worst of the punishment, absorbing 12 rounds of blistering body shots in a runaway decision for Canelo.