Canelo Alvarez KO’s Smith To Claim The WBO 154-pound Title

By Kendrick E. Johnson

ARLINGTON, Texas – Saul “Canelo” Alvarez made his annual return to Texas to put on a show in the state he calls his home away from home.

The Mexican superstar returned to the junior middleweight division, to challenge WBO titleholder Liam “Beefy” Smith for his 154-pound world title. At the end of the fight, Alvarez won another 154-pound world title for his trophy case and used a brutal left hook to the body to add another spectacular knockout to his growing highlight reel on Saturday night at AT&T Stadium.

“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,”

Alvarez said in the ring after the fight.  “The body shot, was what I focused on, making sure I worked his body down, and that is what secured the victory today.”

Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs), 26, started off fast in a very fast paced first round and never took his foot off the gas. Although Smith (23-1-1, 13 KOs) had his moments and landed a few flush shots on Alvarez’s chin, it quickly became apparent that Canelo was the faster, stronger more experienced big fight fighter.

Unlike some of Canelo’s recent opponents, many in the boxing game expect the former WBO champion to come back a better fighter after sharing the ring with the current face of boxing.

“If I would have waited a little longer and gotten more experience I would have been able to fight a guy like that better,” Smith said in his post-fight ring interview. “I am very disappointed. Canelo was too good today, I needed better timing, my timing was off tonight.”

In the third boxing fight ever at AT&T Stadium, the pro-Alvarez crowd of 51,240 outdrew the total of 50,994 that Manny Pacquiao drew in first fight in the stadium’s history against Joshua Clottey in 2010. Despite the hot action and big time atmosphere, Canelo’s big night in Texas was under a big cloud of disappointment due to many fight fans wanting to see him fight Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.

The fight is in such high demand, many in the boxing game feel it will be boxing’s biggest fight since the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao debacle last May. Unlike he did after his fight with Amir Khan back in May, Alvarez was more measured when addressing the “GGG” situation after his latest victory.

“I fear no one. I was born for this, and even though many people may not like it, I am the best fighter right now,” Alvarez said. “About a month ago or so we offered [Golovkin] twice or three times as much [money as he had previously made] to make the fight. You know, I didn’t want to say anything, because I respect all my rivals, but about a month ago we offered him twice as much. But I’m ready.”

Alvarez is due back in the ring Dec. 10 on HBO, likely at Madison Square Garden in New York where he will be making his official 160-pound debut in preparation for the eventual fight with Golovkin. If things go according to plan, Canelo’s next trip to Dallas in 2017, will be to fight Golovkin in the most anticipated fight in boxing today in the same ring he beat Smith in Saturday night.