Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Liam Smith results
By Eric Baldwin: Using his big size advantage, the red-headed Mexican star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) defeated previously unbeaten WBO junior middleweight champion Liam “Beefy” Smith (23-1-1, 13 KOs) by a 9th round knockout on Saturday night to capture his WBO title at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Canelo, 26, knocked Smith down three times in the fight in dropping him once in the 7th, 8th and 9th rounds. The fight was halted after Canelo knocked Smith down with a right to the body in the 9th that had the British fighter rolling around in pain.
The fight was televised by HBO pay-per-view. 51,240 fans were in attendance to see the fight, which not surprisingly turned out to be a terrible mismatch.
Canelo looked like he was weighing around 175 in my view, and he looked far bigger than Smith. The weight advantage that Canelo had appeared to be a lot more than Gennady Golovkin in his recent fight against welterweight Kell Brook. It kind of gives you an indication of how big Canelo is compared to junior middleweights with the way he out-sized Smith. Canelo looked like a middleweight fighting a junior middleweight tonight. Smith did not look talented like the top 154lb fighters in the division. All you can say is that Golden Boy Promotions did a good job of selecting an easy mark for Canelo, because Liam Smith clearly is not the the best fighter in the 154lb division as Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya maintains. He looked like perhaps the 10th best in the division, but not the No.1. That was a joke, and tonight’s fight between Canelo and Smith was a joke because it wasn’t competitive.
In the 7th round, Canelo knocked Smith down with a hard right hand. Smith was wide open for the shot, so it wasn’t surprising that he got dropped. Smith fought well after getting knocked down, as he took the fight to Canelo, who looked like he was tiring.
Canelo flattened Smith with a body shot in the 8th round. Smith got back up and finished the round.
Smith, 28, seemed to be using his high guard to soak up punishment in hopes of causing Canelo to fade. If that was the idea, then it was a stupid one, because in order to make the hulking Canelo gas out, Smith needed to throw a lot of punches. He wasn’t doing that though. He was just walking forward much of the time taking shots. Smith’s Further, punching power wasn’t enough to trouble Canelo. One reason for that was because of the size difference between the two fighters. Canelo looked to be at least 10 to 15 pounds heavier than Smith. I’d say 15 pounds separated the two fighters.
Smith had enough power to hurt someone his own size, but not enough to hurt a fighter that could have been in the 180s tonight the way Canelo looked.
With the win, Canelo will be fighting in December on HBO, but NOT against Gennady Golovkin. The possible opponents for Canelo are down to these fighters: fringe contender Willie Monroe Jr, David Lemieux, Curtis Stevens and WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders. Of that bunch, Stevens is probably the best, but I can’t see him getting the fight. None of those fighters are great options, to be honest.
Saunders is what many boxing fans see as a paper champion. Lemieux and Monroe have already been knocked out by Golovkin, so there’s no point in Canelo fighting them. Stevens has been knocked out as well by Golovkin. These are all terrible choices. Golden Boy would be better off putting Canelo in with Golovkin now, because it’s beyond a joke for them to keep saying that Canelo has to grow into the 160lb weight class.
If you saw how HUGE Canelo was tonight, there’s question the guy is a middleweight and then some. He looked like he hovering around 180. If that’s not big enough to fight Golovkin then I don’t know what is. Some fans think that Golden Boy is waiting for Golovkin to age sufficiently enough for Canelo to have a guaranteed sure thing win over him. Golovkin is about to turn 35, and in his last fight against Kell Brook, he showed that he’s starting to get old. The should be made now between him and Canelo before he gets much older, but Golden Boy doesn’t appear to be in a big hurry to make it. You have to wonder why. Are they waiting for Golovkin to age more?