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Rhodes Blocked

Hometown sensation Canelo Alvarez delighted an admiring crowd of 12,000 at Guadalajara, Mexico's Vicente Fernandez Arena by defending his WBC super welterweight title Saturday night with a 12th-round technical knockout against British challenger Ryan Rhodes.

Alvarez, who turns 21 July 18, was the aggressor in winning every round against Rhodes, whose chopped up face revealed the punishment that kept piling up from a stronger, faster champion 14 years younger.

"I'm very happy," said Alvarez, who lifted his unbeaten record to 37-0-1 with 27 KOs, including a 12-0 record and eight KOs in his hometown. "I really did a good job. I really trained hard for it and it paid off."

Rhodes (45-5, 31 KOs) was knocked down by a glancing right hand off the ear in the fourth round. But he almost lasted the distance before Alvarez's outburst of power shots closed the show with referee Hector Afu stopping the bout at :48 seconds of the final round.

"I knew I wasn't going to get a decision here,'' said Rhodes, conceding that his decision to go for broke in the 12th round left him open to be finished off by Alvarez's superior speed and power. In the end, it was the champion's body attack that wore him down.

"I probably underestimated his power,' Rhodes said. " He's a strong young kid. He caught me with body shots every round and they took a toll on me late in the fight. I just couldn't get out of the way of the body shots. Every time I switched southpaw, he seemed to catch me a lot more."

Alvarez's impressive victory puts him in line for even higher-profile fights, with a potential matchup against fellow Mexican champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. among the possible opponents being bandied about.

"I'm ready to fight anybody,'' Alvarez said. "If I have to fight the devil, I'll fight the devil."

Rhodes didn't see the lopsided loss as the end of his career, but instead heaped praise on the popular champion.

"This isn't the end of Ryan Rhodes," he said. "I've been beaten by a young super star. He's a great fighter."

In the co-feature, junior lightweight Adrien Broner (21-0, 17 KOs) stayed unbeaten with a spectacular first-round knockout of Jason Litzau (28-3, 21 KOs).

Broner, from Cincinnati, landed a straight right to the chin to daze Litzau and proceeded to pound the St. Paul, Minn. opponent with a series of power shots for the 10th first-round stoppage of his young career. With Litzau out on his feet, referee Curtis Thrasher stopped the scheduled 10-rounder after just 2:58.

"I'm ready to fight anybody,'' Alvarez said. "If I have to fight the devil, I'll fight the devil."

Posted 12:00 AM | Jun 19, 2011

Canelo Alvarez vs. Ryan Rhodes

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Adrien Broner vs. Jason Litzau

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