Canelo dethrones Smith with ninth round KO

canelosmith_hoganphotos5Photo: Tom Hogan -Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

By Jeff Zimmerman and Miguel Maravilla at ringside

On Mexican Independence Weekend in Arlington, Texas, Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) claimed the WBO light middleweight title at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, with a 9th round KO of reigning world champion Liam “Beefy” Smith (23-1-1, 13 KOs). Canelo dropped Smith in the 7th, 8th and 9th rounds. The last was a left handed blast to the body that finally did in the tough Brit who sustained a body shot in the eight and an overhand right that also sent Smith to the canvas. The official time of the KO was 2:28 of the 9th round.

Canelo came out strong from the opening bell, as expected, but also Smith showed his willingness to exchange with the strong Mexican from Guadalajara. Canelo continually went to the body early but Smith countered with body and head shots of his own. In the latter rounds, Canelo laid against the ropes as Smith unleashed shots to the body and head of Canelo, but none that ever seemed to hurt Canelo as he countered with vicious upper cuts and devastating shots to the body that eventually took its toll and eventually put an end to an entertaining fight. 

Canelo was complimentary of Smith afterwards in the ring, “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.”

Canelo added, “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, making sure I worked his body down, and that is what secured the victory today.”

Smith was disappointed in defeat but also praised Canelo who walked away with his WBO belt. “If I would have waited a little longer and gotten more experience I would have been able to fight a guy like that better. I am very disappointed. Canelo was too good today, I needed better timing, and my timing was off tonight.”

The announced crowd of 51,240 was the largest of the three staged at Jerry World for a boxing event which broke the previous record of 50,944 for Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey. It was loud and electric throughout which should bode well for a potential fight with GGG next year.

www.fightnews.com/Boxing/canelo-dethrones-smith-ninth-round-ko-354551

Liam Smith looks for respect against Canelo Alvarez

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The way WBO Jr. Middleweight titlist Liam “Beefy” Smith sees things, Canelo Alvarez picked on the wrong guy.

Alvarez is one of boxing’s most popular stars and could have picked just about anybody to fight. But rather than giving the people what they want (and what he promised) — a showdown with unified middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin — Alvarez dumped his middleweight title and decided to drop down to junior middleweight, where he once unified two titles.

In doing so, Alvarez hand-picked Smith, an undefeated British fighter largely unknown and untested. But Smith is happy Alvarez called his name and was thrilled when he landed, by far, his biggest fight, even if it will take place in front of a pro-Alvarez crowd on Mexican Independence Day weekend.

Smith, 28, will make his third title defense when he faces Alvarez on Saturday night (HBO PPV, 9 ET) at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, where he will aim for a gargantuan upset.

“I’m not stupid. I know on paper I’m the B-side of this fight. Canelo’s the big name,” said Smith, who will be boxing in the United States for the first time. “It’s always Canelo, and it’s Mexican Independence Day, so I know that. But I am the champion, and just looking back on that, that is one reason why I hope they’ll respect that I’m champion and be fair. If I win the fight, then make sure I get the decision.

“Give me the respect I deserve. I am the champion, even though I am the B-side in the fight. Canelo’s the big name, but I am the champion going in. … I took this fight. I’m not in a situation where I have nothing to lose in this fight. I’ve got a title to lose. So I’ve taken this fight because it’s an opportunity to make a name for myself and establish myself as one of the best fighters pound-for-pound in the world.”

EDITOR’S PICKS

He knows he is facing a formidable opponent in Mexico’s Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs), 26, who won the lineal title (albeit at 155 pounds) by decision against Miguel Cotto last November and retained it by massive sixth-round knockout of Smith’s countryman Amir Khan, a welterweight moving up, in May.

“Canelo is a very accurate puncher and has a great deal of variety in the ring,” Smith said. “I got to work with [welterweight titlist and recent Golovkin victim] Kell Brook to prepare. It feels very good to be on this big stage, and it’s one that I have asked to be on.

“I am going to show everyone that I can fight at a high magnitude and hopefully I’ll gain some more fans once I beat Canelo. Looking back at his last fight, I think Canelo’s attitude was thinking that he was going to grab the knockout sooner or later, and he wasn’t willing to box. I won’t let that be the case in this fight because I’ve got the ability to outbox him and put him in his place. Just because the writers and the boxing critics label me as the underdog isn’t my motivation. My family and their support is the only one I need. With this opportunity, I’m hoping for bigger and better fights to come my way.”

iFor the first time, both Canelo Alvarez and Liam Smith will fight at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL. Bob Booth/Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

Smith trains at a gym owned by Khan but said he did not discuss what it was like for him to fight Alvarez. “I haven’t talked to him about the fight because what he can do well, I can do well, and what Amir failed to do in the ring, I will not fail to do,” Smith said. “I have my own skill set that I can excel in. I’m comfortable going toe to toe with Canelo, and let that be a warning to him come Saturday.”

Frank Warren, the Hall of Fame British promoter, has worked with Smith since he turned pro in 2008 and has seen his share of upsets. He said Saturday’s fight reminds him a bit of when big favorite Jeff Lacy traveled to England to meet Joe Calzaghe in a super middleweight title unification fight that Warren promoted.

“I am going to show everyone that I can fight at a high magnitude and hopefully I’ll gain some more fans once I beat Canelo.”  –Liam Smith

“Everybody was building up Jeff Lacy to be the next big thing and [Calzaghe] destroyed him,” Warren said. “I mean absolutely destroyed him.”

That’s not say that Warren believes Smith will destroy Alvarez, but he believes he has what it takes to notch a victory.

“I’ve always thought that [Smith] was an exceptional fighter and an exceptional British fighter. He’s won all his fights to date [other than a four-round draw in his sixth fight],” Warren said. “He’s on an eight-fight knockout roll, and I’ve never seen him up so much for a fight. He begged me for this fight, and we made it happen between all of us, and I can assure you when he gets there, there are going to be some serious fireworks.

“It’s going to be a real celebration for the Brits. It might be Mexican Independence Day, but it’s going to be the Brits are coming, and the Brits are going to come away still holding that belt. He’s so confident and all the time I’ve known him, I’ve never felt or doubted him or his ability. He’s one of those fighters, the bigger the occasion, the more you’ll get out of him.

i-1 WBO Junior middleweight titleholder Liam Smith, right, will defend his title against Canelo Alvarez on Saturday. Dave Thompson/Getty Images

Joe Gallagher trains Smith and is one of the most respected trainers in the United Kingdom. He said Smith is well-prepared to pull the upset.

“Liam Smith is a world champion, and he is doing what world champions do: defending his world title against one of the best fighters in the world,” Gallagher said. “Liam isn’t coming over here to be caught like a rabbit in the headlights. Liam Smith is a world champion and is going to take care of business on fight night.

“Smith is a serious threat. Liam Smith can box from the outside, he’s a great counterpuncher, can fight from the inside, has great shots from the inside and has a great temperament. These are some of my favorite characteristics of Liam Smith. I think he might shock a lot of people in just how great he is come Saturday night.”

Smith, of course, is planning for victory.

“It’s going to be give and take. Canelo’s going to have his moments. I’m not saying he’s not. But I’m going to have my moments,” Smith said. “Every time I think about the fight it gets me excited. It just gets me excited. So it’s one that I can’t wait for. It’s going to be a great fight.”

And should Smith win, Warren has a novel idea.

“We’ll be talking afterwards about when is Liam going to be fighting Golovkin,” he said. “Because that’s what they’re going to be talking about after this fight.”

Canelo Alvarez-Liam Smith

Lineup of TV bouts on Golden Boy’s card Saturday night (HBO PPV, 9 ET) at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas:

•Junior middleweights: Liam Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) vs. Canelo Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs), 12 rounds, for Smith’s world title

•Middleweights: Gabriel Rosado (23-9, 13 KOs) vs. Willie Monroe Jr. (20-2, 6 KOs), 12 rounds

•Featherweights: Joseph Diaz Jr. (21-0, 12 KOs) vs. Andrew Cancio (17-3-2, 13 KOs), 10 rounds

•Junior featherweights: Diego De La Hoya (15-0, 9 KOs) vs. Luis Orlando Del Valle (22-2, 16 KOs), 10 rounds

www.espn.com/boxing/story/_/id/17552645/liam-smith-looks-respect-canelo-alvarez

Liam Smith Warns: I’m Coming in There To Knock Canelo Out!

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Britain’s WBO world Jr. Middleweight champion Liam Smith has said he’s going to make a name for himself when he faces Canelo Alvarez in September.

Speaking at a London press conference today, the Liverpool ace said he will try and knock out Canelo Alvarez when the two collide for his WBO World Title on Mexican Independence Day in Dallas, Texas.

“This is a fight I’ve been asking for for 12 months. I jumped at the chance, it’s a chance for me to make a name for myself. I want to do it against the biggest name in boxing at the moment. Saul Alvarez is the biggest name in boxing. I’m looking forward to pitting my wits against one of the best in the sport,” said the 23-0 star, currently on an eight fight KO streak.

“I think a lot of people, will be surprised. I can’t wait until September and making a name for myself up there.”

Responding to the US media reaction which has seen him unfairly labelled as a “paper champion”, the 27-year-old said the American press weren’t in a position to comment as he’s never fought Stateside before.

“They’ll know in September that they shouldn’t be calling me a paper champion. I haven’t fought out there just yet, but they’ll know why [it’s wrong to call me a paper champion] when I do.

“I’m going in there to stop Canelo. If I don’t stop him, it won’t be for the lack of trying.” —

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Canelo vs. Smith, a 12-round fight for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship, is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Frank Warren and Canelo Promotions. Gabriel Rosado vs. Willie Monroe, Jr. is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Banner Promotions and Diego De La Hoya vs. Luis Orlando Del Valle is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Roc Nation Sports.  The event is sponsored by “Tecate, BORN BOLD,” O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, Adriana’s Insurance and Casa Mexico Tequila and will take place on Saturday, September 17 at AT&T Stadium, doors open at 2:30 p.m. CT. and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

www.boxingscene.com/liam-smith-warns-im-coming-there-knock-canelo-out–108020?print_friendly=1

Liam Smith: Canelo ducked GGG “massively”

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Photo: Golden Boy Promotions –

WBO junior middleweight champion Liam “Beefy” Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) didn’t pull many punches when he hosted an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit Boxing ahead of his clash with former two-division world champion Canelo Alvarez taking place September 17 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Here are the highlights…

On Canelo’s weaknesses:

I don’t want to give too many of his weaknesses away. Certainly not now. He’s got a lot of weaknesses. He doesn’t like fighting three minutes of each round. That’s one of them that’s not really hard to see.

On whether Canelo ducked Golovkin:

Yeah, ducked him massively. He went the wrong way about it. He’s being criticized a lot and losing a lot of fans about the way he did it. If he was open and honest about it, people would have understood. If he said, ‘look, at the moment I’m not 160. GGG wouldn’t come down.’ If he said, ‘look I’ll fight you in 12 months time, I’m going to build myself to 160’ he’d have bought himself grace. But the way he went about it after the fight with Cotto he got GGG in the ring and said he’d put the gloves back on. Then after the fight he said the thing about his balls, he built the fans up about fighting him next and then he gave the belt up. I just think he went about it the wrong way.

On fighting Golovkin himself should he beat Canelo:

Obviously, when I beat Canelo, the next fight would be a rematch. I’ll beat Canelo and they’re going to offer as much $ as they want to put the record straight and come up with every excuse in the book. You know, I’ve just told people on SM, he’s saying he’d love to fight Pacquiao. It’s embarrassing they’re talking about Canelo-Pacquiao. They’re gonna be very embarrassed when I beat them in September…I’m not gonna kid the public like Canelo and say ‘yeah I’ll fight GGG’ because that’s where he let himself down because he said, ‘Yes I’ll fight you now.’ But when I beat Canelo I’m still only a 154 pounder. I’ll fight GGG when and if I decide to go to 160. For the time, I’m a 154 and not big enough for 160 at the moment.

On fighting at 154 and not the usual 155 for Canelo’s fights:

I would have taken the fight at 155. I can make 155 and I can even do 156. The negotiation was 154 and I understood why because he has to save face. To look respectful for him to give his middleweight title up, he has to come back to 154. That’s why I was always confident I could get the fight. It would be embarrassing if he ducked Golovkin and didn’t. I knew he had to come to 154. From their point of view, he beats me and is back a champion at 154. ‘I can make 154. I’m not fighting GGG at 160.’ That was their excuse.

On his nickname “Beefy”

I was fat when I was a baby and growing up. So maybe 14 or 15 I was chubby and very fat. My dad called me “Beefy” when I was a kid and it stuck.

www.fightnews.com/Boxing/liam-smith-canelo-ducked-ggg-massively-351655

Team Canelo no descarta pelear en México en diciembre

i-1 Canelo Alvarez podría enfrentar a Billy Joe Saunders en diciembre en México, de vencer a Liam Smith Christian Petersen/Getty Images –

MÉXICO — Aunque parezca difícil, existe una posibilidad de que el mexicano Saúl ‘Canelo’ Álvarez pueda cerrar el 2016 con una pelea en territorio mexicano, lo cual apunta para el 10 de diciembre ante Billy Joe Saunders, si todo sale bien este 17 de septiembre ante el campeón súper welter de la Organización Mundial de Boxeo, Liam Smith.

Canelo estelarizará ante Smith el pago por evento de Golden Boy Promotions y HBO desde el AT&T Stadium de Arlington, Texas, y de ganar entonces verán la posibilidad de que pueda pelear en suelo azteca, donde con la ayuda de patrocinadores esperan lograr su vuelta por primera vez desde noviembre de 2011.

“Todo es posible, en México hay arenas y estadios muy bonitos, hay apoyo y patrocinios que nos hacen pensar que no es algo descabellado. No sabemos si pueda ser en este mismo 2016, todo depende del resultado de la pelea ante Smith, creo que una vez pasado eso será cosa de hablar con Óscar de la Hoya y ver si lo podemos arreglar”, aseguró Eddy Reynoso, entrenador de Alvarez.

La Ciudad de México con la Arena Ciudad de México, Nuevo León con el estadio BBVA Bancomer y Jalisco con el Estadio Chivas serían posibilidades para que pudiera pelear Canelo en suelo mexicano. El Estadio Azteca es otra opción pero parece que no se ha marinado aún esa posibilidad.

“Sinceramente no hemos hablado aún del Estadio Azteca, no se ha analizado, muchas cosas se han dicho de los récords que puede romper Saúl, la verdad es que nosotros no nos comparamos con nadie, queremos romper nuestros propios récords, nosotros nos preparamos concientemente para las peleas y la gente es la que nos ayuda a imponer marcas. No queremos perseguir a nadie en ese aspecto, hubo peleadores que hicieron cosas muy grandes, pero que a la edad de Saúl no habían logrado tantas cosas. Vamos a dejar que los resultados hablen”, compartió el entrenador jalisciense.

Una pelea en México ante Billy Joe Saunders o cualquier otro rival, pensando en el duelo entre Canelo y Gennady Golovkin como una posibilidad para el Estadio Azteca, serviría a Golden Boy Promotions y HBO para conocer el terreno y darse cuenta de las condiciones en que se podría dar el combate.

www.espndeportes.espn.com/boxeo/nota/_/id/2746360/team-canelo-no-descarta-pelear-en-mexico-en-diciembre