Canelo Alvarez vs. Jaime Munguia fight prediction, odds, undercard, start time, expert picks, live stream

Despite all of the extracurricular activities that have dominated fight week, the weather report for Saturday’s All-Mexico showdown in Las Vegas between Canelo Alvarez and Jaime Munguia remains sunny with high probability of excitement.

Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs) will defend his undisputed super middleweight championship in the main event of a PBC on Prime Video pay-per-view card (8 p.m. ET; simulcast on DAZN PPV) from T-Mobile Arena against the hard-charging Munguia (43-0, 34 KOs). The Cinco de Mayo weekend clash represents the first time Alvarez will be fighting a fellow countryman since his 2017 beatdown of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Although Alvarez remains a 5-to-1 betting favorite due to his advantages in experience and craft, the expectations remain high that a competitive firefight is ahead of us given that Munguia, the 27-year-old native of Tijuana who is trained by Hall of Famer Freddie Roach, fights in the classic, all-action Mexican style.

Both Alvarez and Munguia have been nothing but cordial and respectful of one another at every turn. The relationship between Alvarez and his ex-promoter, Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy, who is the co-promoter of Munguia, couldn’t be any different, however.

De La Hoya, who accused Alvarez of attempting to get him banned from promotional events, severely altered the fight week narrative at Wednesday’s press conference by unleashing a pre-written rant aimed at his former fighter. Things got so heated on the dais that the normally mild-mannered Alvarez needed to be held back by security from attacking De La Hoya after the two aired out the dirty laundry between them.

Asked about the ongoing drama between his promoter and opponent on Thursday, all Munguia could do was laugh.

“Not my problem,” Munguia told CBS Sports. “I am chill and just very calm right now. Whatever happened between them, it’s not my issue at all. I was laughing.”

Alvarez, however, retained a much more serious demeanor when asked whether De La Hoya’s premeditated attempt at mental warfare has become a distraction at all.

“I do respect every person out there but I always say that for every action, there is a reaction. I’m a fighter and things happen,” Alvarez told CBS Sports. “From Oscar, you can expect anything like that. He just throws shit [out] of his mouth. He don’t know anything about promoting the fighter or caring about their fighter.

“[Golden Boy] always leaves their fighters when they need him on the biggest stage. He leaves his fighters and he don’t care about them. The attention is [supposed] to be for Munguia but [De La Hoya] doesn’t care. He just wants attention. But nothing surprises me from him.”

Although Munguia was always seen as a potential long-term Alvarez opponent, ever since he first arrived on the global scene in 2019 by knocking out Sadam Ali to claim a 154-pound title at just 21, it took until the last 12 months for him to truly earn the coveted opportunity.

Last June, Munguia survived a war with former title challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko to win a close decision despite being hurt multiple times. But after Munguia’s long-time trainer, Erik Morales, chose to leave his corner to chase his political aspirations in Tijuana, Munguia moved his camp to Los Angeles under the tutelage of Roach and the immediate impact was felt in their first collaboration.

Munguia steamrolled through tough contender John Ryder in January by dropping him four times en route to a ninth-round TKO. Considering it was the same Ryder who had gone 12 hard rounds with Alvarez six months earlier, the result was seen as a culmination of Munguia’s maturity and evolution.

That’s the reason why Alvarez was willing to break his former stance of no longer wanting to fight against fellow Mexicans, even though the public’s appetite seemed much more into the idea of him fighting two-time champion David Benavidez.

“It’s going to be a good fight, for sure. With [Munguia’s] style, it’s going to be great. I don’t know for how many rounds, though,” Alvarez said. “I have more experience, I am stronger, I have more talent — a lot of things. I respect Jaime and I feel proud about what we are doing for the Mexican community. I feel proud about it but we don’t come here to play. I come here to do my job, which is winning.

“I think he’s a good fighter, he throws a lot of punches and is strong. They have hit him before and he handled it good, but Canelo is different and he’s going to experience something different on Saturday night. I feel better than ever.”

After Alvarez, 33, made history by capturing all four 168-pound titles in an 11-month span in 2021, he experienced an uncharacteristic dip in his next three bouts. Alvarez, whose training was constantly disrupted by a lingering hand issue, looked somewhat human in losing to light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol in 2022 before ho-hum decision wins over Gennadiy Golovkin (in their trilogy) and Ryder.

To Alvarez’s credit, just as whispers started to surface that the wear and tear of a 19-year pro career was catching up to him, did look resurgent last September when he dominated a reluctant Jermell Charlo over 12 rounds to re-establish himself as a pound-for-pound threat.

Munguia knows he will need to be at his very best to upset his legendary opponent but has shown no shortage of confidence that he’s the right man for the job.

“[Alvarez] is a very experienced, a very complete fighter,” Munguia said. “I can’t be distracted for even a second inside the ring. I have to be on my edge and sharp but, in the end, I know that I have to win and I know that I can win. As long as I am smart and I am sharp in there, everything is going to be fine.

“I have plenty of aces up my sleeve. There are many things I can do inside the ring that you haven’t seen yet and I’m going to employ them on Saturday and not even Canelo is aware of them yet.”

The biggest fight of note features the return of Mario Barrios as he looks to defend his WBC interim welterweight title against Fabian Maidana. Barrios, 28, bounced back from the only two defeats of his pro career in a big way in 2023 when he beat Jovanie Santiago before getting a shot at Yordenis Ugas for the interim crown. Barrios stunned many by battering Ugas around the ring and nearly finishing the former titleholder. Maidana, meanwhile, holds a 22-2 record against mostly unknown competition.

“I know going into this fight that Maidana is coming in with his back against the wall,” Barrios said in an interview with BoxingScene. “He has nothing to lose and everything to gain. He wants what’s mine and that’s my title, and for that reason it’s going to be a very hard fight.

“I don’t think so [in regard to if the fight is being overlooked], everyone knows Maidana is going to bring it. I’m not looking past him. I know that. I’ve been training hard every day, sparring the best fighters in Vegas. I’m ready to go and I know he is. To be honest, this might be the fight of the night.”

Let’s take a closer look at the odds on each main card fight before getting to a prediction and expert pick on the main event below.

Fight card, odds

Favorite Underdog Weightclass Canelo Alvarez (c) -500 Jaime Munguia +350 Undisputed super middleweight title Mario Barrios (c) -1100 Fabian Maidana +650 WBC interim welterweight title Brandon Figueroa (c) -1400 Jessie Magdaleno +700 WBC interim featherweight title Eimantas Stanionis (c) -1400 Gabriel Maestre +700 WBA “regular” welterweight title

Viewing information

Date: May 4

May 4 Location: T-Mobile Arena — Las Vegas

T-Mobile Arena — Las Vegas Start time: 8 p.m. ET

8 p.m. ET How to watch: PBC on Prime Video PPV, DAZN PPV & PPV.com | Price: $89.99

Prediction

While the relationship with Roach seemed to take Munguia’s game to a whole new level last time out, it’s hard to argue with Alvarez’s stance that fighting him is just different. So many have entered the ring against him with big plans only to be disciplined out of their offensive game plan early by Alvarez’s power and pinpoint marksmanship as an elite counterpuncher.

Add in the fact that Alvarez has never been down as a professional and has only been badly hurt (on a visual level) just one time against Jose Miguel Cotto back in 2010 and one can see the uphill battle Munguia has in front of him despite being the bigger of the two.

Munguia will need to be all over Alvarez from the jump by getting inside and attempting to spam and corner his opponent with relentless pursuit. He has shown a willingness to endure big punishment in the past and tends to remain dangerous even while hurt. But activity remains his greatest threat of survival.

Once Alvarez is able to slow down the pace of a fight by turning it into a sharpshooting chess match, the end is typically near for his opponent. Munguia will need to act like the bigger fighter and try and use his size to lean on and wear out Alvarez should he hope to get the nod from the same Las Vegas judges who have historically favored the high efficiency of Alvarez’s cleaner and harder single shots.

Munguia’s entire career has culminated in this moment and the expectation remains that he will be willing to risk knockout defeat in order to give himself the best shot at pulling the upset. But the fact that he leaves himself so open to be cleanly countered simply isn’t sustainable against a boxer of Alvarez’s skill.

Whether or not Alvarez can finish the job with a spectacular finish likely depends upon how much punishment Munguia can take.

Pick: Alvarez via UD12

Who wins Canelo Alvarez vs. Jaime Munguia, and which prop is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see Peter Kahn’s best bets for Saturday, all from the boxing specialist who has netted his followers a profit of more than $4,000, and find out.

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