In front of a capacity crowd estimated at over 51,000 at the AT & T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys, a chiseled and much stronger Saul “El Canelo” Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KO’s), stopped the very tough Britain, Liam Smith (23-1, 13 KO’s) at 2:28 of the ninth round with a crushing left hook to the body that sent him to the canvas grimacing from the pain as he went down for the last time in the fight. The punch was set up as Smith was covering up with both hands and Canelo threw a short left hook to the head and then the vicious left hook to the body that ended the fight.
The game Liam was able to connect with some of his own punches throughout the fight, just a he did with a good uppercut that landed at the end of the third round, but never enough to really hurt the Canelo. Smith seemed a bit slower in the ring and his wild overhand rights in the fourth round failed to connect as the Canelo countered with accuracy and power.
The multitude of Mexican fans that were in town on the Mexican Independence weekend got what they came to see as Canelo used his power to land at will against Smith.
In the fifth round, Canelo came out letting his hands go as he threw multiple combinations. But Smith came back and attempted to do damage as he backed up Canelo in the corner and let his hands go in the last 20 seconds of the round as the blood visibly came pouring down his face. He even gave Canelo a push after the bell as if to say, “I’m still here.” Unfortunately, this was the round where a cut opened over his right eye, which later he admitted happened weeks before the fight, which healed, but it stopped him from sparring at the end of his training camp.
As Smith absorbed all the punches from Canelo, it was obvious that they were taking their toll, and in the seventh round Canelo landed a right hand that sent him to the canvas for the first knockdown of the fight.
Smith came out in the eighth round pressing the action but the Canelo connected with a punch directly to the stomach of Smith and he squatted down in pain as the referee stepped in to give him the count. Smith continued the round and held his ground and survived the round.
After the fight, Canelo claimed he had hurt his right hand in the second round, and although it didn’t appear that way, it was apparent that he was using his left hook to the body more frequently.
And in the ninth round, again it was the left hook to the body that stopped Smith in front of his adoring Mexican fans at the Cowboy Stadium.
For Smith, this would be his first loss, and for Canelo, another title as the new WBO Junior Middleweight champion and his sixth consecutive win from the only loss of his career back in 2013.
Prior to this win, middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin’s (36-0, 33 KO’s) name has been brought up and this is the fight that the fans really want. But it appears that if that fight will happen, it is more than likely to be at the end of next year according to boxing insiders, if it happens.
The Canelo is scheduled for his next fight sometime in December on HBO and it could be held at the Madison Square Garden in New York, where he is expected to move up in weight.