Canelo's body shots KO Liam Smith in 9th

Canelo's body shots KO Liam Smith in 9th

By Daniel Zaldivar

September 18, 2016


Liam Smith in the 9th round after the final body shot from Canelo Alvarez that ended the bout on September 17, 2016. Photo: LM Otero/Associated Press

Liam Smith in the 9th round after the final body shot from Canelo Alvarez that ended the bout on September 17, 2016. Photo: LM Otero/Associated Press

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - In front of a crowd of over 50,000 at AT&T Stadium, Saul 'Canelo'Alvarez took the junior middleweight world title from Liam Smith in a ninth round knockout showing. 

It was the first time boxing returned to AT&T Stadium since Manny Pacquiao faced off against Antonio Margarito back in 2010. Fans turned out for this fight as it was reported that Canelo-Smith brought out more fans than Pacquiao did during his tenures at the same building. Alvarez, 26, looked to have a little more energy behind his punches, which could potentially be attributed to Gennady Golovkin's last fight this past September 10. Just like he did with Amir Khan in May, Alvarez worked the body of Smith, who is from Liverpool, UK, and the persistent target became successful when a knockout from a sweeping left-hook to the body sent Smith to canvas. 

I think Canelo was good on the night. He was probably a bit to sharp for me, but I have to start somewhere. We’ve tried to get other names and we never got them. Soon as the Canelo fight come — I was always going to take that fight.
— Liam Smith

Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) dropped the 28-year-old Smith in the seventh on his route to three knockdowns, which the last one ultimately ended the bout. Smith (23-1-1, 13 KOs) seemed to find success when having Alvarez against the ropes, however, Alvarez was able to effectively counter and connect with the harder shots. Smith was down on the scorecards at the time of the concluding bell, but was able to land enough to make the Mexican superstar take notice of his skill. 

We knew he was a tough competitor with heart and intelligence within the ring. His combinations are very good and he’s also a young competitor. It wasn’t an accident that he was a world champion.
— Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez

Alvarez once again gained a world title at the 154 pound limit, but it is expected that he will move up to the middleweight limit of 160 in December for his third bout of the year, and the title will most likely be vacated. Following the knockout performance, HBO Boxing's Max Kellerman pressed Alvarez on the notion of stepping into the squared circle with Golovkin and how it seems that his [Alvarez] promoter [Oscar De La Hoya] is the one holding up the fight. 

Look, I don’t fear anyone. I was born for this and whether some people don’t like it, I’m the best boxer in this moment.
— Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez

It was revealed by Alvarez in the post-fight in-ring interview that he and his team have made a sizable offer to Golovkin and his camp. A few months ago it was reported that a September 2017 date was tentatively planned for a clash between Alvarez and Golovkin. Criticism has followed right behind Alvarez in waiting so long to fight the middleweight champion who is currently on a 23 win knockout streak. 

About a month ago, we offered him [Golovkin] double and triple to make the fight. We didn’t want to say anything before this fight because I have great respect for the opponents across the ring from me and that’s why I’m telling you now. We are just waiting on him to respond. We’re ready.
— Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez

As mentioned earlier, Alvarez is scheduled to come back on a reported December date, which should be his first fight at 160. The potential opponent could be Willie Monroe Jr., who won a unanimous decision against Gabriel Rosado in the co-feature of the night. Either fighter, Rosado or Monroe Jr, possessed the opportunity to showcase their talent to land this fight, and Monroe Jr. came out victorious. Golovkin, who just gained the stoppage against Kell Brook in London, has already decisively defeated both Rosado and Monroe Jr. in the past. It is expected that Alvarez wants to have a few 160 pound fights under his belt before fighting the undefeated Golovkin in what is arguably the next mega-fight in the sport. So, as of this moment, Alvarez and Golovkin will be headlining HBO cards within weeks of each other until contracts are signed and an official date is set and announced. 


Daniel Zaldivar is a boxing contributor for Frontproof Media & Page2sports.com. He is the founder of Z-BoxingNews (a partner with Frontproof Media), a YouTube channel that delivers the latest news, interviews, fighter workouts, & analysis within the sport. Check out the Z-BoxingNews YouTube channel HERE. Also follow on Twitter

(Feature photo: Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports)

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