Canelo Alvarez vs. Jaime Munguia: The top-7 best Cinco de Mayo fights ranked

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:

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7. Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao

  • Date/ Location: May 2, 2015/ MGM Grand, Las Vegas
  • Titles: WBA, WBC, WBO, Ring Magazine welterweight

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

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6. Canelo Alvarez vs. Amir Khan

  • Date/ Location: May 7, 2016/ T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
  • Titles: WBC, Ring Magazine middleweight

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

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5. Frankie Randall vs. Julio Cesar Chavez 2

  • Date/ Location: May 7, 1994/ MGM Grand, Las Vegas
  • Titles: WBC super lightweight

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.

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Result: Chavez TD 8

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

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4. Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather

  • Date/ Location: May 5, 2007/ MGM Grand, Las Vegas
  • Titles: WBC super welterweight

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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3. Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto

  • Date/ Location: May 5, 2012/ MGM Grand, Las Vegas
  • Titles: WBA super welterweight

Now firmly established as boxing’s biggest star, Mayweather was free to fight whoever he wanted whenever he wanted.

Cotto had been WBA super welterweight champion for almost two years and was coming off an emotional rematch win over Antonio Margarito. The Puerto Rican star still had plenty left in the tank and that showed up on fight night

Mayweather was often so dominant in his performances that he would leave the ring without a mark on him. However, Cotto managed to land several solid blows and he had the blood oozing from the challenger’s nose in the early rounds, much to the delight of Mayweather’s detractors.

But what’s rarely appreciated about Mayweather is his toughness and when that attribute was juxtaposed alongside ring IQ, he was a remarkable fighting machine. The Grand Rapids native made the necessary adjustments, shook Cotto up in the final round and won a clean unanimous decision on the cards.

Result: Mayweather UD 12

MORE: SN’s top-12 best pound-for-pound boxers

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2. Ricky Hatton vs. Manny Pacquiao

  • Date/ Location: May 1, 2009/ MGM Grand, Las Vegas
  • Titles: Ring Magazine super lightweight

While there was no Mexican connection in this main event, the fans in attendance couldn’t have cared less. Hatton and Pacquiao had established themselves as exciting blood and guts warriors and their pairing was eagerly anticipated the world over.

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Hatton was the defending champion and he had never lost at 140 pounds. His only setback had come against Mayweather, who halted the British favorite 18 months earlier in a welterweight title fight. The Hitman had bounced back with two wins and was still considered the man to beat at super lightweight.

This was arguably the greatest performance of Pacquiao’s career. A sharp counter right hook had Hatton down in the opening round and a devastating series of combinations dropped the champ again late in the session. Less than three minutes in and the writing was on the wall.

Brave beyond the call of duty, Hatton gave it everything to get a foothold in the second, but he was being caught too cleanly by an authentic knockout artist. In the closing seconds of the round, southpaw Pacquiao dipped left and let go with a vicious left hand that landed flush. Hatton was out before he hit the canvas.

Result: Pacquiao KO 2

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1. Diego Corrales vs. Jose Luis Castillo

  • Date/ Location: May 7, 2005/ Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas
  • Titles: WBC, WBO, Ring Magazine lightweight

It’s not only the best Cinco De Mayo fight of all time; this one is the consensus greatest lightweight fight of all time.

Boxing insiders and hardcore fight fans could see an epic coming long before the opening bell. The lanky Corrales was made to be a boxer but couldn’t resist a tear up and he was going in against a fierce Mexican slugger. This was a match made in boxing heaven.

Following nine rounds of brutal and competitive inside action, the best was yet to come. In the 10th, Castillo floored Corrales twice with his signature left hook and was closing in on the stoppage triumph. However, Corrales spat out his mouthpiece following both knockdowns and bought himself precious seconds to recuperate. While he was deducted a point for the infringement, “Chico” was about to take the scorecards out of the equation with one of the greatest comebacks in boxing history.

Trapped against the ropes and under pressure, Corrales caught Castillo with two huge power shots that sent him reeling backwards. Sensing the moment and roared on by a fever pitch Las Vegas crowd, Corrales followed up with a fight-ending assault that left the Mexican star helpless. The climax was nothing less than extraordinary.

Result: Corrales TKO 10


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