Scorecard: Canelo fells spirited Smith
Luke G. Williams
A bull-like Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez scored three knockdowns en route to a ninth round stoppage victory against Liam Smith in Arlington, Texas, annexing the Englishman's WBO super welterweight title in the process. Here's how Boxing Monthly online saw and scored the fight...
Round 1: Smith keeps his guard high and tight but struggles to get his punches off. Canelo peppers him with sharp shots, winning the round at a canter. 10-9 Canelo
Round 2: Smith tries to assert himself more, but has only intermittent success until the final 30 seconds of the round when he manages to back Canelo up on the ropes. Canelo's greater variety and volume of scoring shots takes the round. 10-9 Canelo
Round 3: Canelo starts to unload mid-round, with some lovely uppercuts, thudding jabs and crunching body shots. Smith lands a few in return but the greater volume and effectiveness is still with the Mexican. 10-9 Canelo
Round 4: The fight is settled into a firm pattern - in the centre ring Canelo bosses things with his superior hand speed and power. Smith has success when he can back Canelo on to the ropes and land chopping rights. But he isn't doing this often enough to win rounds. 10-9 Canelo
Round 5: Spirited effort from Smith. With his high guard and tight defence he blocks a lot of Canelo's shots and backs the challenger on to the ropes several times, landing some decent shots, as well as one after the bell. Perhaps over generously I'll give that round to Smith for his higher work rate. 10-9 Smith
Round 6: Another Canelo round. Smith has a cut by this right eye which is deteriorating. For the first time he looks a little disheartened in between rounds. 10-9 Canelo
Round 7: Once again Smith backs Canelo up, the Mexican responding by roaring off the ropes to floor the Englishman with an overhand right. Smith is hurt but regains his feet and ends the round in a spirited fashion, pinning Canelo on the ropes and landing some good shots. 10-8 Canelo
Round 8: Canelo's power really starting to tell now, a thunderous left to the body in the final minute forcing Smith to take another count. 10-8 Canelo
Round 9: Once again Canelo's work to the body proves decisive, a wicked left hook to the body fells Smith in a writhing heap. The referee waves it all over after 2 minutes and 28 seconds of the round.
Verdict: Smith showed spirit, and even had some success when he backed Canelo on to the ropes several times, but the Mexican's speed and power could not be denied - to the delight of the vast majority of the 51,000 plus fans in attendance. Now, for the love of God and the good of boxing, let's have GGG vs Canelo.