In front of nearly 52,000 boxing fans at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington ,Texas on Saturday night Mexican boxing great Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez claimed the WBO junior middleweight title with a stunning ninth round knockout win over Englishman Liam Smith.
The crowd at the home of the Dallas Cowboys on Mexican Independence weekend witnessed ‘Canleo’, 48-1-1-(34), drop Smith, 23-1-1-(13), in the seventh, eighth and ninth rounds before the fight was officially stopped after 2.28 of the ninth session.
The brave British battler summoned every ounce of his strength in a bid to hold on to hit title but a body shot and a looping right hand forced Smith to hit the canvas for the final time.
Alvarez came out looking to wage war from the opening bell and Smith battled back on equal terms but Alvarez rained in the heavier punches which eventually wore down the British fighter in a highly entertaining fight.
Speaking after the fight Alvarez paid tribute to Smith saying: “Liam Smith was a resilient fighter, he was tough, has a lot of heart. He thinks before he attacks, I could tell in the way he blocked in the way he approached me.
“I was actually only using my left hand for the most part, making sure left hand was connecting with power. I hurt my right hand in the second round when I hit him in the head. The body shot, was what I focused on.”
Understandably, Smith was disappointed after losing his title and feels he may just have taken a step up in class a little too early: Smith said afterwards “If I would have waited a little longer and gotten more experience I would have been able to fight a guy like that better. Canelo was too good today.”
Willie Monroe Jr UD 12 Gabriel Rosado
Joseph “Jojo” Diaz, Jr. TKO 9 Andrew “El Chango” Cancio
Sadam Ali TKO 4 Saul Corral
Vergil Ortiz KO 1 Ernesto Hernandez
Hector Tanajara Jr. UD 4 Roy Garcia
Joshua Franco TKO 3 Brian Bazan
Zachary Ochoa Ud 8 Daniel Montoya
Alexis Salazar UD 6 Larry “SloMo” Smith
Anthony Yarde TKO 1 Rafer Johnson
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September 17 2016