Canelo becomes four-time champion after win over Smith
“I’m proud [of this accomplishment], I’m proud to be a representative of boxing and Mexico, but I want more.”
Those are the words of four-time world champion, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez after defeating Callum Smith in San Antonio Saturday, Dec. 19, handing him his first professional loss.
With the win, he takes the WBA Super Middleweight and The Ring Middleweight title away from his opponent while capturing the vacant WBC Super Middleweight title in front of 15,000 fans.
Canelo won via unanimous decision after two of the three judges scored the bout 119-109 while the last had it 117-111.
At 6’3, Smith attempted to work the body of the 5’9 Canelo in the first round.
Smith had a 78-70 reach advantage.
More level changes came in the next round with Canelo still walking forward looking to land big shots.
By the third round, Canelo had found his rhythm and kept Smith from doing much else the rest of the fight.
Throughout the fight, Canelo was not only landing more punches than Smith but he was landing the cleaner punches than the champion.
Canelo came in with twice the experience of Smith (53-1-2, 36 KOs to 27-0, 19 KOs).
In round five Smith attempted to mount an offense but with his opponent in a groove, his punches didn’t seem to phase Canelo.
Smith tried to start fast in the seventh round, sensing the fight slipping away.
At that point, Canelo found success landing uppercuts causing more visible damage to the face of Smith.
In the eighth round, Canelo continued to pursue his uppercut, cornering Smith off even nearly lifting him off the ground with one shot.
He was buckled once more in the ninth round after Canelo opened a barrage that started a blood flow from Smith’s nose.
Before the end of the fight, the challenger was sure to showcase his top-tier head movement forcing Smith to connect with air.
Canelo kept Smith at bay, holding him to 18 percent on all total punches thrown, this includes landing 24 percent of his 228 power punches attempted.
In addition, Smith landed half of the amount of jabs as Canelo (44-88) despite throwing nearly 40 more.
Smith holds the record for the most recorded jabs at 168-pounds but was out-punched by Canelo two to one.
Canelo landed 32 percent of his jabs and 57 percent of his power punches, landing 126 of the 220 thrown.
Overall, Canelo landed 43 percent of all total punches thrown.
Though he was hit the most times in his career, Smith has still never been knocked down.
Canelo said after the fight he wanted to prove he was “the best in the world,” adding “It was a great night but I want more.” When asked what more he wants, he replied, “To unify. I want all the belts. No matter who has it.”
Currently, Gennady Golovkin holds the IBF and IBO Middleweight titles.
Canelo and Golovkin have fought twice with the first one being ruled a draw and Canelo winning the second fight.
“I don’t run from anybody,” Canelo said after being asked about the possibility of a trilogy fight with GGG.
Canelo’s lone loss of his professional career came at the hands of undefeated retired fighter Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013.
Super middleweight Caleb Plant is also a potential opponent for Canelo.