LAS VEGAS (AP) — Canelo Alvarez held off a feisty challenger Saturday night, proving to be the stronger and more effective boxer to retain his undisputed super middleweight championship, winning by unanimous decision to hand Jaime Munguia his first loss.

Tim Cheatham scored the fight 117-110, David Sutherland had it 116-111 and Steve Weisfeld 115-112.

Alvarez (61-2-2), who closed as a minus-380 at BetMGM, overcame a somewhat slow start to dominate Munguia (43-1) before a crowd of 17,492. The champ took full control after knocking down Munguia in the fourth round.

The lead-up to the bout was unusually polite, with both fighters saying they were proud to represent Mexico on Cinco de Mayo weekend.

Alvarez saved his harshest criticism during week not for his opponent, but for Munguia’s promoter. Oscar De La Hoya used to be in Alvarez’s corner, but they clearly are on opposite sides now and nearly even came to blows Wednesday at the news conference after trading allegations.

Munguia the most aggressive boxer the first three rounds, even getting Alvarez into the ropes in the third. Alvarez, though, showed in the fourth he wasn’t going anywhere, using a left and then a right to the face to send Munguia to the canvass with 38 seconds left.

Alvarez then proceeded to sting Munguia over the next four rounds with shots to the face. Munguia put together his own sets of flurries, but they did little noticeable damage to Alvarez.

That is until the ninth round when Munguia landed some blows to the face that sent Alvarez backward, including into the corner at one point. But Alvarez responded with his own combinations, including coming out of the corner, in the fight’s most action-packed round.

The 10th and 11th rounds were close, but largely the same trends followed of Alvarez delivering the harder shots.

Munguia came out in the final round fighting as if he knew he was trailing on the judges’ card, but did little damage. It was Alvarez who again came through with the best blows, using a combination with about a minute left to Munguia’s head and following with several more shots to end the fight.

In the other main-card fights:

— San Antonio’s Mario Barrios (29-2) successfully defended his WBC interim world welterweight title by defeating Argentinian Fabian Maidana (22-3) by unanimous decision in the co-main event. Each judge scored the bout 116-111.

Barrios prevailed despite fighting with his right eye nearly completely closed.

“Maidana fought hard for 12 rounds like I expected,” Barrios said. “Once my eye started swelling up, it was hard to find my range. But we stuck to the fundamentals, tried to find openings and came out with the victory.”

— WBC interim world featherweight champion Brandon Figueroa (25-1-1, 19 KOs) of Welasco, Texas, knocked out Jessie Magdaleno (29-3) of Las Vegas with a left uppercut to his kidney with one second left in the ninth round ended.

— Lithuania’s Eimantas Stanionis (15-0) easily retained his WBA welterweight title by claiming a unanimous decision over Venezuelan Gabriel Maestre (6-1-1) with scores of 117-111, 118-10 and 119-109.

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