‘I fear no one’: Canelo Alvarez claims world title with hugely impressive knockout win over Britain’s Liam Smith
The Mexican claims the light-middleweight world title from Briton in a devastating knockout finish in round nine in Texas
A sickening body shot helped Saul “Canelo” Alvarez to claim the light-middleweight world title from Britain’s Liam Smith in a devastating knockout finish in round nine of their championship bout in Dallas, Texas on Sunday morning (Hong Kong time).
The devastating hook to the kidneys left Smith, who was a massive underdog, writhing in agony on the canvas and with no chance of making the count.
It was the third time that the Liverpool native had been knocked down as the classy Alvarez turned on the pressure as the fight wore on.
The Mexican’s ramrod jabs began to land with greater frequency and it became a matter of when rather than if he would bring the fight to a close.
Smith fought bravely but simply found himself well outclassed as he stepped up to elite level for the first time in his previously unbeaten career.
“He was too cute for me to be honest,” admitted Smith after the bout. “No excuses but my timing was off. I could land nothing clean and he was too good for me on the night.”
“I was slow and I had no timing,” added the 28-year-old, who suffered a bad cut in training a month out from the fight and had been unable to spar in the run-up.
“I thought I would take over late on. I never really landed to the body and he caught my body shots as well and landing his own.”
In the end it was a fair result with Alvarez never in danger against his physically smaller opponent.
A 51,240 crowd came out to see the 25-year-old on Mexican Independence Day weekend and he delighted the wrapt Dallas crowd.
“I told you I was gonna bring you the championship and here it is,” Alvarez told the crowd after his victory.
“I felt he was very strong at the beginning so I had to put in the body work so that slowly he would dwindle. I did my job,” added the Mexican whose record improves to 48-1-1.
The conversation inevitably turned to a potential superbout with all-conquering middleweight Gennady Golovkin after this impressive win.
“I fear no one,” Alvarez said. “I was born for this and even though many people don’t like it, I’m the best fighter right now.”
“About a month ago we offered [Golovkin] twice or three times as much money to make the fight – I didn’t want to say anything because I respect my rival. We are ready for him he just didn’t want to accept.”