Boxing: ‘Canelo’ Knocks Out Smith in 9, Calls out ‘GGG’

By Mike Sloan Sep 17, 2016
There’s no disputing that Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is the current champion in boxing in terms of star power and drawing fans to his fight. The Mexican superstar electrified a reported 51,240 fans inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, (online sportsbooks) by scoring a highlight reel knockout of Liam Smith in the main event on HBO Pay-Per-View, setting up a potential mega fight next year.

Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) systematically broke Smith down round after round and though “Beefy” had some great success in the fifth and sixth rounds, “Canelo” remained patient until his power came through. When Smith backed Alvarez into the ropes in the seventh, the Guadalajara native uncorked a vicious left hook to the body, followed by an overhand right to the head. The combo dropped Smith, which was for the first time in his professional career, and from there, the end was near.

The previously-unbeaten Smith (23-1-1, 13 KOs) was knocked off his feet again in the eighth from a left hook to the liver, but “Canelo” closed the battle out in the ninth with an even better left hook – a Mexican staple – to the body. The punch folded the Liverpool native in half and when he flopped onto his back, writhing in pain, veteran referee Luis Pabon waived it off, officially ending the fight at 2:28 of the frame.

The win awarded Alvarez the Brit’s WBO junior middleweight title and in the ensuing post-fight interview, Alvarez called out rival Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and accused him of refusing to accept a fight offer three times during the recent few weeks.

Rochester’s Willie Monroe proved to be too slippery and accurate for the aggressive Gabriel Rosado to handle as he worked him over 12 rounds, winning a lopsided unanimous decision along the way. The fight, which was expected to be a thrilling one, wound up being a tactical boxing match where Monroe used terrific maneuvering and timely counterpunching to thwart what the Philadelphian tried. As the fight wore on, Rosado (23-10, 13 KOs) threw less and less as his frustration got the better of him. Monroe improved to 21-2 with 6 KOs after winning the judges’ verdict 117-111, 116-112 and 118-110.

2012 Olympian Joseph Diaz Jr. turned in another impressive performance as he tore apart fellow featherweight and Californian Andrew Cancio for eight-plus rounds before finally stopping him in the ninth. Diaz (22-0, 13 KOs) was far more accurate with his punches and landed nearly 200 more overall shots throughout the contest, one that saw Cancio (17-4-2, 13 KOs) bloodied and rocked a handful of times. When “Jo Jo” turned up the heat in the ninth, a flurry of unanswered punches promoted Cancio’s corner to throw in the towel, officially stopping the mugging at 2:27 of the frame.

Diego de la Hoya, the first-cousin of Hall of Famer Oscar de la Hoya, remained undefeated as a pro with a dominant 10-round performance over tough Puerto Rican Luis Orlando De Valle in the opening bout of the PPV telecast. De la Hoya (16-0, 9 KOs) used his far superior hand speed and movement to befuddle his foe throughout but the Mexicali resident never took De Valle (22-3, 16 KOs) off his feet. In the end, de la Hoya won virtually every round as the super bantamweight prospect was awarded the unanimous nod via tallies of 100-90 and 99-91 (twice).

In the off-TV prelims, welterweight Sadam Ali (23-1, 13 Kos) bounced back from his first career loss by dominating Saul Corral (21-8, 12 KOs) for 10 rounds and won a unanimous decision (99-91, 99-90 x2); junior welterweight Vergil Ortiz knocked out Ernesto Hernandez (1-4, 1 KO) with a perfect right hook in just 40 seconds; lightweight Hector Tanajara (7-0, 4 KOs) pitched a four-round shutout on the cards over Roy Garcia (3-20-1, 2 KOs); bantamweight Joshua Franco (7-0, 4 KOs) took out Brian Bazan (9-3, 6 KOs) in the fourth after dropping him a total of three times; Zachary Ochoa (16-0, 7 KOs) earned a unanimous nod over fellow junior welter Daniel Montoya (11-5, 8 KOs); junior middleweight Alexis Salazar (8-3, 3 KOs) edged Larry Smith (10-29-1, 6 KOs) via unanimous six-round decision; and Anthony Yarde (8-0, 7 KOs) iced Rafer Johnson (11-22, 5 KOs) at 2:10 of the first.


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