Saul "Canelo" Alvarez vs Liam "Beefy" Smith
BY KID HERSH
In the first round Canelo showed his superior handspeed, accuracy, power, and pretty much everything else right off the bat. Smith was in front of him to hit and Canelo fired away vicious body shots and a great jab to dominate the round off the get go. In the second round Smith got even busier and pressed Canelo. He was successful with some of his unconventional looping shots, even cutting Canelo under the left eye. Replays would show the cut was from Canelos own glove - which is pretty unlucky - but there appears to be no handicap as of yet. In the third round you again got the feel that Smith is in way over his head and out of his league, because even when he lands something Canelo always lands a punch as well, so at best they are punch for punch and Canelo's shots are just vastly more powerful and accurate, doing more damage. Smith would claw his way back into the fight in one of those cases where a guy was game and really giving it his all but you just knew he did not have what it takes to turn the tables around. Over the next couple round he would land jabs and even right hands after getting Canelo on the ropes but despite his gameness he just doesn't have what it takes against a guy of Canelo's caliber. In the sixth round Smith was getting bloody and starting to look more desperate by the end of the round, seeming to know he was not putting a dent on Canelo and not getting him to make any big mistakes to capitalize on. Even Canelo's punches, like the right to Smiths shoulder early in the seventh round moved him as it thudded home. Then almost midway through the round Canelo scored a knockdown off a right hand with his back on the ropes. Smith crumpled to the canvas for the first time in his career. He got up and gamely fought on for the remainder of the round but Canelo was clearly just biding his time in breaking his man down and not taking any unnecessary risks. Smith was further broke down further in the eighth round and dropped from a body shot late in the round. He looked like a spent man by the end of the round but he still made it out for the ninth round and took further damage - namely more body work - until near the end of the round he took another left hook to the liver that put him down in excruciating pain as he was counted out. Good showcase here for Canelo. And no shame to Smith here - he was very game and going for the win at all costs.