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Ranking the top-7 best Cinco de Mayo boxing matches


On May 4, amid joyous Cinco de Mayo celebrations, Mexico’s warrior hero Canelo Alvarez will defend his undisputed super middleweight championship against compatriot Jaime Munguia at the T-Mobile Arena. The 12-round bout, plus undercard action, will be broadcast by Amazon Prime and DAZN.

If you’ve ever been in Las Vegas for a fight during this famed Mexican holiday, you’ll know just how special it can be. Despite fans siding with one fighter or the other, there’s an unrivaled party atmosphere and it’s just the perfect setting for a prize fight.

Canelo vs. Munguia should be an extra-special Cinco de Mayo collision. This is an all-Mexican matchup for an undisputed championship and the respective styles are almost sure to gel. All the ingredients are there for an exciting, high-contact battle that fans will never forget.

WATCH: Canelo Alvarez vs. Jaime Munguia, live on DAZN

There’s a rich history when it comes to world title action on Cinco De Mayo weekend. Fans have been treated to epic fights, huge occasions and spectacular knockout finishes. Will Canelo vs. Munguia be near the top of the list when the dust settles on the Las Vegas Strip?

The Sporting News offers the top seven Cinco de Mayo prize fights ranked:

A six-year wait for the ultimate confrontation ended with a relatively tame, frankly disappointing prize fight that broke every financial record imaginable. And that’s why boxing’s richest-ever fight is bottom of the list.

In fairness, there was no way the fight could live up to the hype surrounding it. It was a matchup of the two top pound-for-pound fighters in the world who also happened to be the sport’s biggest attractions. That is beyond rare.

However, the only way this fight was going to be exciting was if Pacquiao punched Mayweather out of his boots. And that wasn’t going to happen. Pacquiao had already shown vulnerability to a great counterpuncher in Juan Manuel Marquez during their four-fight series. Mayweather was levels up from Marquez in that area, the sharpest punch picker in boxing.

The Filipino icon had success early, but Mayweather gradually solved the style and had a field day in the second half of the fight.

Pacquiao later revealed that he came into the bout with a damaged shoulder. That did little to quell the disappointment of millions of fans worldwide who viewed the fight as a massive letdown.

Result: Mayweather UD 12

MORE: Jaime Munguia reveals key to Canelo fight and Cinco de Mayo upset

Was this Canelo’s biggest fight on a Cinco De Mayo weekend? No. Was this Canelo’s richest fight on a Cinco De Mayo weekend? Not at all. However, this was Canelo’s first time headlining during the popular Mexican holiday and it was arguably his most spectacular finish.

For all his faults, Amir Khan wasn’t afraid of a challenge. The British star shared the ring with some of the best fighters in the world and he was a committed and diligent pro. However, the decision to move up from welterweight for a 155-pound catchweight contest with Canelo looked positively dangerous.

With his quickness, Khan did manage to win rounds, but there was an ominous feeling that something devastating was coming his way. After posting a good round in the fifth, Canelo was zeroing in on the target and the trigger was cocked.

In round six, the Mexican star fired a bone-crunching right hand to the jaw that knocked Khan out cold. There were worrying moments at ringside and Canelo even walked over to kneel beside the stricken fighter as a mark of respect. Thankfully, Khan recovered and left the ring under his own steam.

Result: Canelo KO 6

This may come as a surprise but the legendary Chavez only made one Cinco De Mayo appearance and he was very fortunate to get the win.

In January 1994, JCC suffered his first loss in 91 fights to huge underdog Frankie Randall. The challenger boxer beautifully throughout, dropped the habitually bulletproof Chavez for the first time in his career and settled for a split decision that should have been unanimous.

A direct rematch was quickly arranged and controversy ensued. Randall shook Chavez to his heels again with a ferocious right to the jaw and seemed to be getting the best of it through seven rounds. In the eighth, Chavez was cut badly by an accidental clash of heads and explained to ringside physician Flip Homansky that he couldn’t see.

Homansky would admit in his post-fight interview with Showtime that he would have let the action continue, but the bout was stopped and the scorecards would decide the winner. One judge had Randall ahead by a single point but was overruled by two other officials who sided with Chavez.

It was a very unfortunate way for Randall to lose his world title.

Result: Chavez TD 8

MORE: Chavez vs. Randall: 90-fight unbeaten streak snapped

One year after winning the WBC 154-pound title from Ricardo Mayorga, De La Hoya made his first defense against a far more formidable foe.

Mayweather was the best fighter in boxing while De La Hoya was the sport’s most popular attraction. That alone made this the richest fight in boxing history at the time, with the event breaking gate and pay-per-view records.

The action was competitive in the first half. De La Hoya carried a significant weight advantage on fight night and his cerebral aggression had the challenger on the retreat. However, as the fight progressed, De La Hoya’s attack faded and the younger Mayweather began to score sharper blows.

At the end of 12 rounds, the feeling was that Mayweather had done more than enough to win his fifth divisional world title. One judge scored for De La Hoya, but the other two officials got it right.

Result: Mayweather SD 12

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