ARLINGTON, TX (September 17, 2016) – On Mexican Independence Weekend, Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) was crowned the new WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion in front of a record breaking crowd of 51,240 roaring fans at the home of the Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Canelo established himself as a ticket seller king breaking AT&T Stadium’s previous record of 50,994 for a boxing event established by Manny Pacquioa vs. Joshua Clottey in 2010.
The show started off with a bang as pyrotechnic displays were incorporated into the fighters’ ring walks in celebration of the festive Mexican holiday. At the start of the fight, both Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and Liam “Beefy” Smith (23-1-1, 13 KOs) of Liverpool, England came out aggressively at each other in an exciting battle of power and wits. As the fight progressed, both fighters went back and forth exchanging combinations of face and body shots. In the beginning of the seventh round, Canelo dropped Smith with an overhand right to the head first time in the Brit’s career. In the eighth round, Liam was knocked down again by a body shot and finally, at 2:28 in the ninth round, Canelo secured himself another world title as he landed straight power hit to Smith’s liver, immobilizing the fighter.
“First of all, I want to say I told you I was going to give a great fight and get the championship and here it is,” said Canelo Alvarez. “I started going after him, but in the second round I hurt my hand. I hurt my right hand and had to use the left more often. There was some disparity but that’s what happened. I felt he was very strong in the beginning so I had to put the body work and felt he would dwindle, that’s how I did my job. I give big punches with my body shots, and I enjoyed it very much. I fear no man. I am the best fighter in this sport. About a month ago, we offered “GGG” three times as much to make the fight and we’re ready for him, but he doesn’t want to accept. As I said, we are a team and I fear no one. I fight the best and I want to fight the best, I am the best at this sport and Viva Mexico!”
“Liam Smith was a resilient fighter, he was tough, has a lot of heart,” continued Canelo Alvarez. “He thinks before he attacks, I could tell in the way he blocked in the way he approached me. The body shot, was what I focused on, making sure I worked his body down, and that is what secured the victory today.”
“If I would have waited a little longer and gotten more experience I would have been able to fight a guy like [Canelo] better,” said Liam Smith. “I am very disappointed. Canelo was too good today, I needed better timing, my timing was off tonight. I was smaller and had no time to make him even think twice. We caught him with body shots well, and he handled his own.”
HBO will repay the fight Saturday, September 24th at 10:05 p.m (ET/PT)