Canelo wraps up boxing year with masterful super-middleweight title haul


Canelo Alvarez unanimously outpointed previously undefeated Callum Smith to win the WBA & Ring super-middleweight championships and vacant WBC super-middleweight title Saturday night at the Alamodome.

Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) dominated his only bout this year, repeatedly hitting Smith (27-1, 19 KOs) with straight rights and right hooks to the head over 12 rounds.

Two judges scored the bout 119-109 and the third had it 117-111.

At five-foot-eight, Alvarez was the aggressor against the six-foot-three Smith.

Alvarez previously knocked out Callum’s older brother, Liam, on Sept. 17, 2106, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Many speculated Callum wanted revenge for the ninth-round knockout, but Alvarez dominated the younger Smith as well.

Alvarez and Smith were fighting for the first time this year due to the restrictions brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and the ring rust was evident in the first five rounds. It took nearly a minute before the first punch of the bout was thrown, a lunging right by Alvarez. Punches were sparse and the exchanges were brief in the opening round as both fighters shadowed each other.

Following the fight, Canelo said he would welcome a third bout against Gennady Golovkin. The two boxers fought to a draw in their initial encounter and Canelo won the second. (Ed Mulholland/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports)

Alvarez pressed the action in the opening seconds of the second round, forcing Smith to respond with rights to the head to keep Alvarez from continually stepping forward.

Smith jabbed with his left hand more in the third round, occasionally attempting a right uppercut that continually failed to land.

Alvarez landed a series of straight rights and right hooks to the head early in the fourth round that seemed to faze Smith. Alvarez had his most effective combination, landing a left hook to the side of the head, a straight right to the nose and another left hook that delighted the heavily partisan crowd.

Alvarez continued to effectively lunge and dig a right hand to the face between Smith’s gloves in the fifth round. Smith followed up a lunging blow to the stomach to set up a right hook that seemed to shake Alvarez. Smith landed a second right hook following that exchange.

Canelo, right, landed 60 per cent of his power punches through seven rounds compared to just 20 per cent by Smith. (Ed Mulholland/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports)

After a rather uneventful sixth round, Alvarez landed a hard right uppercut that snapped Smith’s head back. Alvarez attempted to follow with another uppercut, but Smith sidestepped the attempt and missed an uppercut of his own.

Alvarez landed 60 per cent of his power punches through seven rounds compared to just 20 per cent by Smith.

Alvarez stuffed another hard right uppercut into Smith with about a minute left in the eighth round.

Smith fell back against the ropes following a heavy right hook to the head with about 1 1/2 minutes left in the ninth round.

Alvarez continued to pound Smith to the head in the final rounds, turning Smith’s face bright red from the repeated blows.

Welcomes 3rd GGG bout

Following the victory, Alvarez said he would welcome a third bout against Gennady Golovkin. The two boxers fought to a draw in their initial encounter and Alvarez won the second bout.

Marc Castro won his pro debut on the undercard, securing a third-round knockout against Luis Javier Valdes (7-6-1) with a flurry of punches to the head and body. Castro, who won consecutive youth and junior world championships as an amateur, had two previously scheduled bouts cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also on the undercard, Frank Sanchez 17-0 (13 KO’) retained his WBO-NABO heavyweight title by knocking out Julian Fernandez (14-3) in the seventh round with a pair of stiff straight right hands to the head. Sanchez tumbled out of the ring between the bottom two ropes, suffering his second straight knockout loss following three straight wins.



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