Erislandy Lara fought an intelligent fight Saturday night, frustrating Canelo Alvarez with his quickness, movement, longer reach and his seeming ease at slipping punches.
But in the end Alvarez's body work won over at least one of the judges decisively as he came away with a split decision victory in a 12-round light middleweight bout at the sold-out MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Judge Levi Martinez scored it 117-111 for Alvarez, while Jerry Roth scored it 115-113 for Lara and Dave Moretti had it 115-113 for Alvarez.
Lara landed 10 more total punches than Alvarez, but Alvarez was well ahead on power punches, landing most of them to Lara's body.
Canelo, the 23-year-old Mexican superstar, is 44-1-1 with 31 KOs, and Lara, 31, who defected twice from Cuba, is 19-2-2 with 12 KOs.
Lara said he was "100% sure" he won the fight and asked for a rematch.
"I still have no respect for him," he said. "I want a rematch. I will do the same and I will win again."
Alvarez said he would give Lara a rematch "when he learns to fight."
Alvarez earned $1.5 million and Lara $1 million for the fight. Lara's WBA light middleweight title was not up for grabs in the non-title fight, which was contracted at 155 pounds, one pound over the 154-pound limit.
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