- Saul “Canelo” Alvarez defeated Callum Smith via unanimous decision on Saturday night in San Antonio.
- The loss was the first in 28 bouts for the former champion Smith who was making the third defense of his belt.
- Alvarez is the first Mexican fighter to unify boxing’s 168-pound division.
The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Well, no one really fell, literally. But on Saturday night, Callum Smith’s unbeaten record fell to the sheer brilliance of the best pound for pound fighter in the planet.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez entered Saturday’s bout at the Alamodome giving up a massive seven inches in height and another huge eight inches in reach. But after a feel out first round, Alvarez used his superior boxing skills to negate those differences and dominate the fight from start to finish.
Canelo fake jabbed then hit an uppercut ?#CaneloSmith
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 20, 2020
The Mexican pushed the pace and stalked Smith throughout the bout. The British champion didn’t look comfortable fighting on his back foot. Canelo eliminated the distance that Smith preferred and put on a display of world class boxing skills. He bullied Smith for 12 rounds and consistently punished his opponent with big head shots and solid body shots.
During the second half of the fight, it was so lopsided that the only thing to be determined was whether Smith would go the distance or not. At several times during the latter rounds, it didn’t appear that he would hear the final bell for the 12th round. But he showed the heart of a champion as he continued to fight back despite being dominated.
First Career Loss
Canelo Alvarez puts on masterclass as Callum Smith suffers first defeat of career in brutal points loss #CaneloSmith https://t.co/o73WYl4oLy
— Sun Sport (@SunSport) December 20, 2020
Smith entered the fight having won his first 27 bouts, including 19 via knockout. The 30-year old Englishman won the WBA (super) and Ring super middleweight championship by knocking out George Groves in 2018. He successfully defended the belts against Hassan N’Dam and John Ryder before getting in Canelo’s way.
Smith threw more punches than Smith 539-494 but Canelo outlanded the British fighter 214-99 in total punches and 126-55 in power punches. Alvarez also connected on 43.3% of his total punches and 57.3% of his power shots while Smith could only land 18.4% of his punches and 24.1% of his power bombs.
In the end, the judges scored the bout 119-109, 1119-109, and 117-111, with one judge generously giving Smith three rounds. The 30-year old Smith thus suffered the first loss of his career while Canelo has beaten two of the three Smith boxing brothers as he also defeated Callum’s elder brother Liam in 2016.
Canelo is Back
I’M BACK! ?
✅ WBC Super Middleweight Champion
✅ WBA Super Middleweight Champion
✅ Ring Magazine Super Middleweight Champion#CaneloSmith #[email protected] pic.twitter.com/dQjrwXWcQZ
— Canelo Alvarez (@Canelo) December 20, 2020
As for Alvarez, he showed on Saturday night that he is back. Canelo had not fought since defeating Sergey Kovalev in November 2019. His annual Cinco de Mayo schedule was cancelled by the coronavirus pandemic and when the sport resumed, he was embroiled in a legal battle with his promoters. The lawsuit has been settled and Alvarez became a free agent. Saturday’s bout was his first after his released from his DAZN/Golden Boy contract.
By defeating Smith, Alvarez is now the WBA (super), WBC, and Ring super middleweight champion. He is the first fighter from Mexico to become a unified champion at the 168-pound division. Despite missing 13 months of ring action, he showed no ring rust and was as dominant as ever.
Alvarez is the number one pound for pound fighter in the sport and he showed it on Saturday night. He has fought already 57 bouts but still looks to be in his prime at just 30-years old. After the fight he said he felt good at the new division and doesn’t want to fight with the scales. Alvarez says that he is now eyeing to unify all the belts in the super middleweight division. BIllie Joe Saunders currently has the WBO belt while Caleb Plant owns the IBF belt.