Canelo Alvarez cruises to victory over Callum Smith
In his first fight in over a year, WBA super world middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KO’s) won by unanimous decision to become a four-divisional major title holder. With the win he pirated away Callum “Mundo” Smith’s (27-1, 19 KO’s) WBA super middleweight title. The prizefight was Smith’s third title defense and trip to America.
He won by knockout in the other two endeavors. Obviously, Lady Luck was giving him the cold shoulder on this trip to the states.
This is the second time that Alvarez has defeated a UK fighter in order to become a super middleweight champion. Canelo bullied, beat up and blasted out Rocky Fielding back on December 15, 2018 the first time. In that short three round contest, Alvarez put Fielding on the canvas four times. In fact, the redhead made him take a knee once every round with his piercing left hook to the body. When referee Ricky Gonzalez waived off the bludgeoning, Alvarez walked off with his WBA “regular” super middleweight title.
On a more personal note, Canelo also dropped Mundo’s brother, Liam Smith, to the canvas three times. In that September 17, 2016 dustup, Alvarez also iced him with a fight ending left hook to the body. Going into this prizefight Smith was motivated by both national pride and family revenge.
THE BRITISH EXTERMINATOR
The bout began in a predictably slow and cautious manner. Canelo was unwilling to bull his way into punch range, and Mundo wasn’t overzealous with his output. It was curious the much taller man routinely backed up through the first several rounds. On a positive note, Smith was able to fight tall to open the fight. Despite his length, he typically likes fighting on the inside.
With the coming of the fourth, Alvarez still found no consistent groove due to Smith’s long stiff jab. Changing tactics Canelo did start bulling his way in strike range to wing big shots. The adjustment was effective. Quizzically, Mundo continued backing up but now he was gravitating to the ropes more and more. Also as the Mexican walked him down, his jab seemed to evaporate.
In the seventh round Smith significantly increased his punch output. He was still regularly drifting to the ropes and allowing Canelo the chance to do his best work as well. If Mundo sought to change the moment in the seventh, Alvarez took his back in the eighth. The redhead landed a number of sharp jabs and thudding uppercuts. In the ninth, with his nose bleeding, Smith finally looked like he was ready to crack. Canelo was digging to the body with menace.
For the remainder of the bout, Alvarez pounded on the ever weakening and battered champion. In spite of his looks, haggard, smeared in his own blood and exhausted Smith heard the final bell. To do that though, he rode his bike and held for long stretches of the final period. The stalling and evasion drew a chorus of loud boos from the crowd at hand. Ultimately, when the scorecards were read Canelo Alvarez won a wide unanimous decision as expected.
OPTIONS, OPTIONS, OPTIONS
There is no doubt that arguably the #1 P4P fighter in the world has options. He can attempt to unify the belts at super middleweight by going for the vacant WBC title and taking on IBF champ Caleb Plant. He can move back up to light heavyweight and take on unified champ Artur Beterbiev for Lineal status or WBA champ Dmitry Bivol. Also, he can move back down to middleweight and take on WBO chap Demetrius Andrade, WBC champ Jermall Charlo or a third fight with IBF champ Gennady Golovkin.
Additionally, a new challenge is on the horizon. Unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr is vocal about moving up to middleweight just for this fight. What will happen next?
By: Bakari Simpson