Canelo feels no pressure facing Liam Smith

Canelo feels no pressure facing Liam Smith

By Hector Franco

August 25, 2016

Photo: Golden Boy Promotions

Photo: Golden Boy Promotions


We are now only a few weeks away from witnessing the return of Canelo Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) inside the boxing ring. He will be returning to the 154-pound division to take on the current WBO champion, Liam Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs).  The fight will take place at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas. This will mark Alvarez’s third fight in the Lone Star State. 

Texas has proven to be good to Canelo and Golden Boy. In his first fight in Texas, Canelo faced Austin Trout (30-3, 17 KOs) at the Alamodome. There he won a close decision in front of 45,000 fans. In Canelo’s second appearance he faced off against native Texan, James Kirkland (32-2, 28 KOs). The fight took place at Minute Maid Park in Houston in front of 31,000 fans. Canelo produced the knockout of the year as he took out Kirkland in three. Against Liam Smith, Canelo hopes to make it three in a row in Texas. 

 Smith who is undefeated and largely unknown in the United States could provide a stern test for Canelo. Regardless, of the amount of people that are familiar with Smith, Canelo won’t be taking him lightly. He’s aware of the challenge if front of him and what it could lead to in the future. 

“He’s a good fighter, he’s a champion. He’s very strong. He’s got a Mexican Style, you know, a guy that stands there and likes to exchange punches, so that’s one of the things that attracted us to the fight. And, you know part of the reason for choosing him is he’s a world champion. I want to win another world title in my weight class, 154. Then after that we’ll see what’s available.” – Canelo Alvarez

The AT&T Stadium where the fight will be taking place has held two boxing events in the past. Both these events took place in 2010 and featured Manny Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs) in the main event.  This was back when Pacquiao was a box office blockbuster. His first fight against Joshua Clottey (39-5, 22 KOs) drew 700,000 in PPV buys. The second fight with Antonio Margarito (40-8, 27 KOs) generated 1.15 million in PPV buys. Both fights were able to gain an attendance of over 40,000 fans. Canelo and Golden Boy hope to match these figures. According to De La Hoya, they are well on their way. 

Manny Pacquiao faced Antonio Margarito in his second fight at AT&T Stadium. Photo: Nick Laham/Getty Images

Manny Pacquiao faced Antonio Margarito in his second fight at AT&T Stadium. Photo: Nick Laham/Getty Images

“We really can’t say how many Pay-Per-Views he’s going to sell, but we’re expecting a big number as always…But we always guage our numbers by how many tickets we’re selling in the arena. And as you know, we’re outpacing Manny Pacquiao in ticket sales at the AT&T Arena.” – Oscar De La Hoya

An obstacle that Golden Boy has run into with this PPV event is the undercard. WBO middleweight champion, Billy Joe Saunders (23-0, 12 KOs) was supposed to fight on the card. Saunders ended up turning down opponents who seemed perfect for an American debut. WBA interim heavyweight champion, Luis Ortiz, was also scheduled to fight on the card. Ortiz after a contract dispute has chosen to leave Golden Boy promotions. This left Golden Boy with a tough job in giving fans a worthy PPV undercard. They used the best of what they had. The undercard will feature the return of featherweight contender, Joseph “JoJo” Diaz (21-0, 12 KOs) and undefeated prospect Diego De La Hoya (15-0, 9 KOs) . It will also feature a bout between two opponents that Billy Joe Saunders turned down. That fight will be Gabriel Rosado (23-9, 13 KOs) taking on Willie Monroe, Jr (20-2, 6 KOs). Golden Boy has a reputation for putting on quality cards from top to bottom. They feel they have accomplished this with, Canelo-Smith. 

“We at Golden Boy pride ourselves in giving the fans the most exciting and the best fights possible, and that’s exactly what we’ve put together. See, the fight fans in Dallas, Texas, or across the globe want to see action, and that’s what Canelo brings to the table. Canelo brings action, excitement, and our undercards are obviously no exception. Out undercards are always full of excitement and great fights.” – Oscar De La Hoya

Going into this fight with Liam Smith, Alvarez is a huge favorite. He has already established himself as the most popular Mexican boxer. There are have been many great Mexican fighters who have fought in Texas such as Julio Cesar Chavez, Juan Manuel Marquez and Canelo’s own promoter, Oscar De La Hoya. For Canelo, this puts no extra pressure on him to succeed in putting on a great performance to match those past great fighters. 

“I don’t feel any pressure whatsoever. The only pressure I have for any of my fights is just to prepare 100%. That’s it. That’s been my mindset, to be ready and prepare 100%. That’s where I get my confidence. But none of that stuff really pressures me. I want to do my best and give a great performance. As far as being the next great from Mexico, no, I don’t really thing about that. It’s no pressure whatsoever, as long as I’m doing my job.” – Canelo Alvarez

If Canelo comes out victorious against Smith, the talk will once again proceed about a fight against, Gennady Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs). Golovkin faces Kell Brook (36-0, 25 KOs) the week before Canelo-Smith. A fight between Canelo and Golovkin will be the biggest in the sport. With the fight seemingly going to take place a year from now in 2017, there has been criticism thrown at Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions. Golden Boy is aware that this is a fight that fans are clamoring for but it won’t take place until they feel Canelo is ready.  

“People will always talk and will always want the very best when you are on top of the world, and that’s what Canelo is right now. He’s on top. He is the star fighter in boxing, and people want him to fight the very best. And he has always fought the very best. And fighting Golovkin is going to be no exception. He’s going to fight him, but when he’s ready to move up to 160.” – Oscar De La Hoya

(Featured Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports)

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