Canelo Alvarez stops Liam Smith in the 9th round to add the WBO Light-Middleweight title to his collection.
Smith as champion endured rare status as the underdog as he traveled out to Texas to fight boxing’s biggest star in front of a 51,240 home crowd. With the odds stacked against him, it was evident from the start that the Brit would have to battle further disadvantage as the Mexican now fully hydrated looked enormous.
The size and strength of Alvarez was the telling factor in the fight. At times the two appeared as mirror images of each other employing pressure behind a high guard. In a highly competitive fight each man showcased their range of fancy combinations by trading shots to the body and head.
Ultimately however Canelo was enjoying more success winning every round with the stronger more refined punching. The man they call Beefy answered each burst from Canelo with his own bursts of attack but did not have the power to trouble the stockier Mexican. The writing was on the wall in round seven as the challenger dropped the champion twice with shots to the head and the body. Liam showed grit in the eighth round coming forward and throwing shots but was left crippled by a body in the following which ended the fight.
Speaking at the post fight press conference Liam Smith remained optimistic:
“I said in the press conference beforehand, you know there’s world champions and there’s elite fighters and I think that was the case today but like I say I have to start somewhere and that’s my first step towards the big names.
I think Canelo’s gonna move on now, he might not even defend that title so you know hopefully I can have a couple of fights and then get back in the mix.”
Predictably Canelo was looking at bigger and better challenges as the Golovkin fight looms ever closer:
“About a month ago, we offered GGG three or four times as much to make the fight.
“We are ready for him and he doesn’t want to accept. As I said, we are a team and I fear no one. I fight the best and I want to fight the best, I am the best at this sport.”
Hopefully now after two brave performances by over matched Britons we can see the fight we all want to see. The biggest fight out there. Canelo vs Golovkin.