F Mexican prodigy Alvarez downs Hatton for WBC crown - Powcast Sports

Mexican prodigy Alvarez downs Hatton for WBC crown

ANAHEIM, California (AFP) – Unbeaten Mexican prodigy Saul Alvarez became the youngest world champion in super welterweight history by defeating Britain's Matthew Hatton for the vacant World Boxing Council crown.

The 20-year-old freckled redhead, whose nickname "Canelo" is Spanish for cinnamon, on Saturday improved to 36-0 with one drawn by taking the 154-pound title on a unanimous decision.

All three judges scored the bout 119-108 for Alvarez.

The Mexican sensation thanked his supporters and promised the best was yet to come.

"This is my dream," Alvarez said. "I told them I would give them world championships. I would give them great fights. This is my first world championship. I will have more big fights to come and more titles for Mexico."

Hatton, the European welterweight champion, fell to 41-5 with two drawn and saw his nine-fight win streak snapped, but he gamely denied Alvarez a 27th career knockout, what would have been only the second such loss for Hatton.

Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao vacated the crown ahead of his May 7 bout with American Shane Mosley, prompting the Mexico-based WBC to give the crown to the winner between Alvarez and Hatton even through the British fighter had never fought in so large a division and there was a catch-weight for the bout.

"I'm a fighter through and through," Hatton said. "When you get the chance for a world title you have to take it. I'll move back down to welterweight and look for a world title opportunity there."

Alvarez failed to make the catch-weight of 150 pounds and forfeited $70,000, but it did not affect his eligibility for the crown and Hatton agreed to fight him anyway.

"He didn't hurt me," Hatton said. "He was just too big in there."

Alvarez was uncertain of his next opponent but was ready to take his time before facing one of the division's superstars.

"We've got to wait a bit, maybe two more fights, but we have to wait and prepare to have bigger fights and better fights," Alvarez said.

Alvarez pounded Hatton in the first round and bloodied the 29-year-old Englishman's nose in the second.

Hatton, cheered on at ringside by his former world champion brother Ricky Hatton, stood toe-to-toe throughout the fight with the larger Alvarez, who was supported by the majority of the Southern California crowd.

Alvarez opened a gash over Hatton's left eye midway into the fourth round but lost a point in the seventh round for punching Hatton in the face as the fighters were being pushed apart by referee Lou Moret.

"He's a good rival," Alvarez said of Hatton. "People criticize him. He would hold onto me and hurt me. He had some good experience."

Hatton was stunned by a pair of right hands to the head late in the 10th round but the valiant Briton traded blows to the bell and battled the Mexican to the finish.

"I shared the ring with a great fighter," Hatton said.

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