Saul Alvarez vs Callum Smith: Canelo puts on boxing masterclass to earn brutal points win

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Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez staked his claim as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world on Saturday night after emphatically outpointing Callum Smith in Texas.

Liverpool's Smith entered the bout as the WBA super-middleweight champion, having never tasted defeat in 27 previous outings.

Many pundits considered Smith a live underdog in the fight, with much being made of his seven-inch height advantage over the Mexican.

Canelo, though, never appeared unduly concerned by the challenge of Smith in the build-up to the fight. In fact, Alvarez spent a large amount of his time dressed in designer pyjamas as he strolled around the host hotel this week, seemingly without a care in the world.

The 30-year-old looked equally comfortable once the first bell rang at the Alamodome, as he marched forward relentlessly, denying Smith any opportunity to feel his way into the fight. 

Unleashing pinpoint jabs and punishing body shots, Canelo was always in control as Smith spent much of the early part of the bout trapped on the ropes.

On the rare occasions when Smith did get some meaningful punches off of his own, Canelo slipped them almost effortlessly.

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As the fight progressed, Canelo began to show increasingly less respect for Smith's attacks, upping his own punch output with the intention of stopping Smith.

A picture-perfect uppercut in round seven was one of Canelo's best shots of the entire evening - and it clearly troubled Smith.

The Brit was brave, though, and refused to fold. However, that toughness had won him very little in the way of rounds during the fight.

At the end of round nine, Smith's trainer Joe Gallagher warned him that he would call a halt to the action if things continued to be so one-sided.

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In truth, nobody would have complained had the battered and bloodied Smith been pulled out of the fight at that point, with Canelo digging in regularly with spiteful shots. Smith, though, did manage to survive to see the final bell, much to his credit.

At the end of his 12-round masterclass, Canelo was awarded a unanimous decision victory, winning by scores of 119-109, 119-109 and 117-111 on the judges' cards.

Canelo now adds Smith's super-middleweight title to those that he has previously held at light-middleweight, middleweight and light-heavyweight.

A genuine world title win in a fourth weight division was a fitting reward for Canelo's dominance on the night.

It now seems that Canelo will look to meet Gennady Golovkin for a third time, with the pair keen to end their long-standing rivalry. Smith, for his part, is keen to move up in weight upon his return.

"He was good tonight and I have no excuses, I feel I might have outgrown the weight," said Smith, per thesun.co.uk.

"I don’t feel as dominant late-on but I made the weight OK. I have lost to a pound-for-pound star but we both turned up and he was the better man tonight.

"He is just so smart and clever, he closes the ground down without even punching and sets traps.

“His jab was really good for a shorter guy, I knew his defence was good but his jab surprised me a little bit...I want to go home and see my family and enjoy Christmas, I miss my daughter."

Smith can surely come again at light-heavyweight, but the night belonged to Canelo Alvarez who oozed quality on route to his 54th career win.

 

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