Canelo Alvarez knocks out Liam Smith
TEXAS: Saul "Canelo" Alvarez knocked out previously unbeaten Liam "Beefy" Smith in the ninth round on Saturday to regain a share of the super welterweight world title before more than 51,000 at AT&T Stadium in Texas.
With most of the crowd behind him at the cavernous home of the Dallas Cowboys NFL team, Alvarez was in control from Round 1 against the gritty Smith.
Britain's World Boxing Organization champion couldn't match the speed or power of the Mexican star, a former World Boxing Council super welterweight champ who was returning to the 154-pound (70-kilogram) division after claiming the WBC middleweight crown in November with a unanimous decision over Miguel Cotto.
"I told you I was going to give you a great fight and bring you the championship and here it is," said Alvarez, who put Smith on the canvas in both the seventh and eighth rounds before ending it at 2:28 of the ninth with another big left hook to Smith's right side.
"I felt he was very strong in the beginning, so I felt I had to put that bodywork in so that slowly he would dwindle and I did my job," said Alvarez, who connected with a left to the body and a right to the side of Smith's head that knocked the champion down in the seventh round.
Smith, blood streaming from a cut near his right eye, kept coming, but even his best shots weren't enough to slow Alvarez, and he went down again in the eighth after a crunching left hook to his midriff.
"No excuses, but from my point of view my timing was just so off," said Smith, who was fighting outside Britain for the first time.