Saul Alvarez beats Shane Mosley soundly, perhaps setting up a bout with Mayweather

LAS VEGAS – Saul (Canelo) Alvarez took a significant step toward a dream fight with Floyd Mayweather by dominating Sugar Shane Mosley with a punishing unanimous points decision at the MGM Grand on Saturday night.

The 22-year-old WBC super welterweight champion never looked troubled in taking his record to 40-0-1 and claiming the biggest scalp of his career in Mosley, a six-time, three-weight world champion.

Alvarez, already a huge star in his native Mexico, is hoping to set up a showdown with pound-for-pound king Mayweather and this performance did his chances of landing a giant payday and an opportunity to topple the best in the business no harm at all.

Judges Jesse Reye and CJ Ross gave Alvarez 11 of the 12 rounds, each scoring the fight 119-109. Judge Glenn Trowbridge ruled it 118-110 for Alvarez.

Mosley tried to press the action when he could, but was able to land only 183 total punches, with Alvarez connecting 348 times, the most punches ever landed on Mosley in his 35 fights tracked by Compubox.

The only blemish was a cut above Alvarez's left eye, caused by an inadvertent head butt in the fourth round, which trickled blood throughout the remainder of the contest.

"I tried to knock him out, he took a lot of punches but it didn't work," Alvarez said after the fight. "This is a huge fight for me, all of the experience, the cut – all of it was new. I will fight whoever next."

[Related: Kevin Iole: Canelo Alvarez needed to show he's a champion]

Mosley's star has been on the wane for some time and a pair of lopsided defeats to Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao had clearly taken some sap from his legs. Even so, this was still Alvarez's most significant opponent by some distance, both in terms of reputation and ability.

The 40-year-old made a reasonably bright start, feeling Alvarez out in the opening round and landing a couple of decent shots. From then on, however, it was all downhill for a man whose last victory came over Antonio Margarito in 2009 and this night took on a predictable feel for Mosley.

Alvarez was simply too young, too strong and too motivated to allow a tiring veteran, albeit one destined for the Hall of Fame, to pose any kind of meaningful roadblock. He wore down Mosley's stamina and spirit with a series of double-fisted combinations to the body, but despite his total domination of the bout was unable to inflict the first knockout defeat of Mosley's career.

“His defense is really good,” Mosley said of Alvarez. “He is really fast and he can go a long way. I didn't expect him to be that fast or that good. He is up there at the top. Mayweather is fast, Cotto, all the guys I have fought. He is up there with them.” Undoubtedly, there will now be a real clamor for Alvarez and Mayweather to meet and Canelo's display has certainly put him into the mix. However, it is worth remembering that taking on a jaded Mosley and the undefeated Mayweather are very different propositions, and that Alvarez may not be ready for such a daunting challenge.

Money though, as ever in boxing, may talk the loudest.

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