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Sanchez: Liam Smith might beat Canelo

Canelo Alvarez

By Dan Ambrose: WBO junior middleweight champion Liam Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) could beat Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) next month, according Gennady Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez. He thinks that Smith’s size, power and talent could give the 26-year-old Canelo a real scare and he might beat him in their fight on September 10 on HBO pay-per-view at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Sanchez knows what the 27-year-old Smith is capable of doing against his opponents, and he thinks he might do a number on Canelo. What Sanchez doesn’t say is that Smith might to knock Canelo out to get the win, because the fans will doing a lot of shouting in the stadium and he has a way of being given rounds even when he’s being out-worked and out-landed by his opponents.

If you watch Canelo’s past fights against Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout and Floyd Mayweather Jr, you would think those were all fights were Canelo should have lost. Instead, Canelo lost only the Mayweather fight, and one judge had it a draw.

“I think it’s a very competitive fight,” said Sanchez to Fighthub about the Canelo vs. Liam Smith fight on September 17. “Liam Smith is a big guy, he’s a durable guy. He’s not as talented as Canelo. Canelo should win the fight, but I think Liam Smith will scare him. I think Liam Smith has nothing to lose. Liam Smith is bigger than Canelo. Canelo didn’t hurt Cotto with anything he threw at him. So is he going to be able to hurt Liam Smith with anything he hits him with? Canelo’s knockouts we’ve seen were against Khan, Kirkland, a washed up guy that doesn’t fight very often, and Angulo, who unfortunately was coming back from a long layoff. So Liam Smith could scare him. Does he beat him? Maybe not, but I wouldn’t be surprised,” said Sanchez.

That would be a big blow to Canelo, Golden Boy and probably HBO as well if Smith wins this fight. Canelo is money maker, and if that gravy train grinds to a halt abruptly, it would leave no one to replace the 26-year-old Mexican star in it’s wake.

Liam Smith certainly won’t take Canelo’s place no matter how badly he beats him. The show must go on, and Canelo is too much of a money man for him to lose right now. That’s why Smith might need to knock Canelo out if he wants to get a win in this fight.

Smith isn’t the greatest fighter in the junior middleweight division, but he doesn’t need to be for him to have a chance of beating Canelo. We’re not talking about him facing a super fighter. Canelo has a super fan base in the United States, but he’s not a super fighter and he never will be.

If Smith were fighting Lara, the Charlo brothers or Demetrius Andrade, then you could say that he’s going to be having a geat deal of problems in this fight, because those guys are both big and highly talented. But in a fight against Canelo, it’s a much more winnable fight for Smith, and all he needs to do is major sure he stays in the [pocket long enough to land his power shots.

It won’t help for Smith to run away from Canelo, because that will make it impossible for him to get the decision. You have to remember that the fight is taking place in Texas where Canelo has a huge fan base, and the fans will be entirely on his side on the night.

Canelo is popular enough to absorb a loss to Liam Smith without it hurting him in terms of fans. Canelo is one of those Arturo Gatti type fighters who remains popular despite losing fights. Canelo isn’t as exciting as the late Gatti was during his career, but he doesn’t need to be. Canelo has the fans that will stay his fans no matter what happens in his fight against Smith.

Sanchez is right about Canelo having knocked out a lot of lesser and/or older fighters. It’s not just James Kirkland, Khan and Alfredo Angulo that Canelo has padded his record with. Here are some of the other fighters that Canelo has knocked out:

Josesito Lopez [moved up from 140 to fight Canelo)

Kermit Cintron

Alfonso Gomez [140lb fighter]

Ryan Rhodes

Amir Khan

Alfredo Angulo

James Kirkland

This is a pretty weak bunch of fighters that Canelo was able to knockout during his career. No wonder he was able to knock them out. It’s not as if Canelo was fighting the cream of the crop in those guys. He was clearly picking guys that were there to be knocked out. Kirkland and Angulo were both totally inactive and overweight when they were selected to fight him. Angulo’s former trainer Virgil Hunter said that he had to take off a ton of weight during training camp. You might as well have called it a glorified fat farm rather than a true training camp.

Canelo wasn’t able to knockout these fighters:

Floyd Mayweather Jr

Miguel Cotto

Erislandy Lara

Austin Trout

Shane Mosley

if Liam Smith goes after Canelo’s body in this fight with hard punches to the midsection, I suspect we’re going to see Canelo go possum on us with him backing up against the ropes and staying there the entire fight. This is what happened when Canelo got hurt by a hard body shot from Austin Trout in their fight several years ago in round seven. Canelo immediately retreated to the ropes with a look of pain on his face. Instead of recovering and moving away from the ropes, Canelo stayed there for the final five rounds. Trout failed to realize that he had badly hurt Canelo with a body, because he chose to just jab him rather than coming in close and continuing to pour shots into his bread basket. My guess is Canelo’s midsection had turned to rubber after he got hurt with the body shot in the 7th, and he couldn’t move off the ropes even if he wanted to.

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