Callum Smith dared to be great, but ultimately Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez took his WBA ‘Super’ and Ring Magazine Super Middleweight titles, and added the vacant WBC belt with a dominant unanimous decision win at the Alamodome, Texas on Saturday night.
Last time out, Canelo (54-1-2, 36 KOs) knocked out Sergey Kovalev to win the WBO Light Heavyweight title, while Smith (27-1, 19 KOs) struggled in taking a disputed points win against John Ryder.
The height difference between the two was immense, and Smith wisely began off his jab, while also landing to the body of the Mexican.
Canelo started in measured fashion, inching closer to his target and finding range with his own jab. The 30-year-old whipped in a body shot in the second, as he stalked the champion, but the Brit was still managing to keep his foe on the end of a long jab.
Alvarez’s jab was just as impressive though, and he landed it several times in the third round, closing the gap each time and also connecting with some crisp right hands.
Canelo was growing in confidence, taking an uppercut from Smith before landing some meaty shots to head and body, and piercing the guard of his opponent more frequently in round four.
After a bright start, the champion was now finding it hard to connect with Alvarez, missing with several punches, while having to work hard to fend Canelo off, but he did have a much better sixth, letting his hands go a little bit more and using more variety in his punches.
Order was restored in round seven, as Canelo walked Smith down and discouraged the Liverpudlian from engaging, as he landed with a hard right uppercut.
Even though Smith, 30, landed two decent left hands in the eighth, it didn’t buckle Canelo, and he shrugged them off, and round nine saw his most dominant session to date, gradually breaking Smith down with measured pressure that had the underdog hurt.
The fight was being drained out of Smith, as the fight went into the championship rounds, with Canelo landing with more punishing shots to head and body that Smith was struggling to get out of the way of.
A stinging right hand stunned Smith in the penultimate round, but ‘Mundo’ was determined to see the fight out and he had to endure a torrid final frame as the pound-for-pound star pushed for the finish, unloading with power shots that forced Smith to hold.
The clock was the only thing to beat Alvarez on the night, as the fight went to the scorecards.
There was no dispute as to the winner, and Canelo took the contest by two scores of 119-109 and a third at 117-111 and targeted unification battles, with Billy Joe Saunders (WBO) and Caleb Plant the other belt holders, whilst a trilogy with Gennady Golovkin could be on the cards after his victory over Kamil Szeremeta on Friday.
Alvarez is also required to defend his WBC belt against Avni Yildirim within 90 days.
“I did a great job. Smith is a great fighter, but I’m great as well, I’m so happy.” said Canelo to DAZN post-fight.
“I’m the best in the world, I showed what I am. I want to unify. I want all of the belts, I’ll fight whoever has them. I don’t run from anybody. I fight against the best.”
Castro makes winning start
Decorated amateur Marc Castro (1-0, 1 KO) made his long-awaited professional debut on the bill, and the Super Featherweight impressed in a third round knockout of Luis Javier Valdes.
Valdes (7-6-1, 2 KOs) was down in both the second and third rounds, and a flurry of big punches put him on the canvas again, where he failed to beat the count.
Ford halts Lopez
At Super Featherweight, Raymond Ford (8-0, 4 KOs) scored a seventh round stoppage of Juan Antonio Lopez to remain unbeaten. It was an entertaining battle, but a short, check right hook floored Lopez (15-8, 6 KOs), and he couldn’t beat the referee’s count.
Sanchez blasts out Fernandez
Cuban Heavyweight, Frank Sanchez, also took seven to dispatch Julian Fernandez, as he made it 17 unbeaten.
Sanchez (17-0, 13 KOs) was in control in the main, and got the inside schedule win with a massive right hand that blasted Fernandez (14-3, 11 KOs) through the ropes, and he was out cold.
Williams blitzes Jones
Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams wasted little time in removing Isiah Jones from battle in their Middleweight clash, as he took under 90 seconds to score a stoppage win.
Williams (7-0, 6 KOs) unleashed a rapid assault to head and body that stunned Jones (9-4, 3 KOs), and the referee stepped in.
Christian Alan Gomez Duran (19-2-1, 17 KOs) knocked out Angel Hernandez (17-16-2, 11 KOs) in three at Welterweight, and in the Featherweight four rounder, Alexis Eduardo Molina (8-0-1, 5 KOs) and Robert Greenwood (5-0-1, 2 KOs) fought to a majority draw.