AP Photo/LM Otero
Source: Daily Star
LOS ANGELES: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez knocked out previously unbeaten Liam “Beefy” Smith in the ninth round last Saturday (17.09.2016) to regain a share of the super welterweight world title before more than 51,000 at AT&T Stadium in Texas. With most of the crowd behind him at the cavernous dome of the Dallas Cowboys NFL team, since round one, Alvarez controlled the game against the gritty Smith.
Britain’s World Boxing Organization champion couldn’t match the speed or power of the Mexican star. Alvarez is a former World Boxing Council super welterweight champ who was returning to the 154-pound division after claiming the WBC middleweight crown last November with a unanimous decision over Miguel Cotto.
“I told you I was going to give you a great fight and bring you the championship and here it is,” said Alvaro, who managed to put Smith on the canvas in both the seventh and the eight rounds at once. He ended the game on the following round, at 2:28 after another big left hook to Smith’s ride.
“I felt he was very strong in the beginning, so I felt I had to put that bodywork in so that slowly he would dwindle and I did my job,” said Alvarez, who managed to knock down the champion down in the seventh round, by having a left to the body and a right to the side.
Smith, having a blood streaming from a cut next to his right eye, kept coming, however, even his best shots were far from enough to slow down Alvarez. Hence, he also went down in the eight round after a crunching left hook to his midriff.
“No excuses, but from my point of view my timing was just so off,” said Smith, who was fighting outside Britain for the first time. “I couldn’t really land clean. I was slow – didn’t even make him think.”
Smith fell to 23-1 with one drawn and 13 knockouts. The Merseysider had won 18 fights in a row over six years, winning eight in a row inside the distance over the past three years.
But Alvarez, 26, is no doubt the star of the show. He lived up to his billing, improving to 48-1-1 with 34 knockouts.
He’s won six fights in a row since suffering his lone defeat – a 12-round majority decision loss to Floyd Mayweather back in 2013.
The announced attendance of 51,240 bettered the 50,994 that turned out in 2010, the first of two world title fights featuring the Filipino star at the venue – it was then Manny Pacquiao against Joshua Clottey.
Although Alvarez stepped down in weight to take on Smith, fight fans still crave a clash between him and Kazakhstan’s unbeaten Gennady Golovkin, who really makes the undisputed middleweight globe champion. Asked about that match-up – and whether he was ducking the hard-hitting Kazakh – Alvarez said: “I fear no one.”
He has added: “I was born for this. A lot of people don’t like it, but I’m the best fighter right now.”