Canelo Alvarez maintained his lineal middleweight champion status on Saturday in Arlington, Texas after knocking out Liam Smith cold in the 9th round.
Alvarez is considered a Mexican hero and proved to be a juggernaut to being an attraction. 51,240 were counted in attendance with a vats majority of the crowd cheering Canelo on.
Both fighters were marked up throughout the fight. However, there was more concern over Smith’s two cuts above his eye that could compromise his vision.
Canelo threw a left at Smith and knocked him down.
Smith still fought through and closed the 7th round.
By the 8th, Smith literally had the wind knocked out of him by a body shot from Canelo, knocking him down once again.
The fight ended with an exclamation point in the 9th round. Canelo delivered a left hook to Smith’s liver, knocking him out. Smith was in obvious pain, writhing on the floor, his legs in the air, and letting out a scream.
Alvarez’ fans throughout the AT&T center cheered. Canelo had won the WBO light middleweight title in a spectacular fashion.
Canelo had nothing but respect for Smith, but also noted his way of thinking when fighting:
“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 my 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, making sure I worked his body down, and that is what secured the victory today.”
While Smith was successful in the 5th ad 6th rounds, Canelo’s body work was what had done him in.
Smith was obviously disappointed in his performance. Also nothing that he may have lacked little experienced going against a fighter like Canelo:
“I hit him with some jabs and some right hands, but to be more competitive I needed better timing and my timing was off today. He was too good and skillful, and I was too slow tonight. Canelo was too good today. If I waited a little longer and got more experience I would be able to fight a guy like that better. I am very disappointed.”
As for who Canelo should fight next? Many fans want him to still fight Gennady Golovkin. Canelo says that he “fears no one” and that he and his team have offered Golovkin and his team an opportunity for a fight, but says that they turned down the offers multiple times:
“I fear no one. I was born for this, and even though many people may not like this, I am the best fighter right now. About a month ago we offered (GGG) two to three times as much to make the fight. We’re ready for him and he just didn’t want to accept.”