Canelo Alvarez proved a step too far for Liam Smith, taking home the Liverpudlian’s WBO Junior Middleweight title at the AT&T Stadium, Texas. Canelo’s superior strength and variety allowed him to better his unexperienced opponent, arguably bagging every round before scoring three hard knockdowns en route to a 9th round stoppage.
Canelo now extends his record to 48 wins, 1 defeat, 1 draw, 34 knockouts, while Liam Smith picks up his first setback, reducing to 23 wins, 1 defeat, 1 draw, 13 knockouts.
Smith was game and gritty as expected, landing enough leather to make it a fight, but couldn’t make a serious dent in Canelo. Smith may have been the taller fighter, but Canelo’s explosivity and meatier punches did the greater damage, with combinations and frequent uppercuts finding the target. Both fighters drew blood early from clean punches; Canelo suffered a nick over his left eye, and Smith a reopened cut over his right (originally suffered in sparring).
Smith was dropped for the first time in the 7th round, with a backed up Canelo countering with a heavy left hook to the temple. Smith returned to his feet and saw out the round, but one could sense the valiant Brit was beginning to unravel. Smith proved his mettle once again in the 8th, climbing off the deck following another counter blow, this time a solid left to the pit of the stomach, putting him a mile behind on the scorecards.
Canelo was surprisingly patient, biding his time once again, but soon closed the show in the 9th following a final sickening blow. Smith found himself on the recieving end of a left to the ribcage, with the crunching shot sending him straight to the canvas in agony, prompting the referee to abandon the 10-count.
Nobody is going to criticise Smith’s performance here, since, like Amir Khan and Kell Brook in their recent ‘big ask’ stateside affairs, he wasn’t expected to do too much here. Let alone win. But hey, it is what it is. Canelo now goes on to bigger fights, whether that be against top players at 154 lbs, 160, or that wierd limbo place also known as ‘Canelo Weight’.
Canelo vs Smith: Undercard
- Willie Monroe Jr beats Gabriel Rosado via UD 12 – Middleweight
- Joseph Diaz beats Andrew Cancio via TKO 9 – Featherweight
- Diego De La Hoya beats Luis Orlando Del Valle via UD 10 – Junior Featherweight
Give us your take on Canelo vs Smith in the comments, where both boxers should go from here, plus the rest of the Texas card.