Canelo Alvarez unanimously outpointed previously undefeated Callum Smith to win the WBA and 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 and at 5ft 8in Alvarez was the aggressor against the 6ft 3in Smith.
Canelo Alvarez celebrates after his emphatic points victory over British fighter Callum Smith in San Antonio, Texas
All three judges scored the fight comprehensively in favour of the Mexican as he secured the super-middleweight belts
It came as little surprise that Alvarez was declared the victor – two judges scored it 119-109, with the other 117-111
The Mexican put on a masterclass and his challenger rarely troubled him despite the massive height advantage
Alvarez previously knocked out Callum’s older brother, Liam, on September 17, 2016, 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.
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.
Alvarez with his super-middleweight belts after the contest – he won the WBA, WBC and Ring Championships
Taking the role of aggressor from the first bell, Alvarez (left) constantly pounded Smith’s head in a one-sided contest
Smith wanted to exact revenge over Alvarez for the beating he put on his brother but was not able to do so
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.
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.
Smith recoils as Alvarez connects with a fierce right to the face, one of several landed during the one-sided fight in Texas
Smith did enjoy his moments but as in this picture failed to connect on the occasions he did force Alvarez onto the defensive
A decent crowd was in attendance ringside at the Alamodome in San Antonio for Saturday night’s super-middleweight fight
Alvarez was not deterred by anything coming back his way from Smith and put pressure on his opponent
Alvarez is announced with flames and a Mexican mariachi band playing before his ring walk in San Antonio
Alvarez landed 60 per cent of his power punches through seven rounds compared to just 20 per cent by Smith.
The Mexican 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.
And Alvarez continued to pound Smith to the head in the final rounds, turning Smith’s face bright red from the repeated blows.
Following the victory, the champion said he would welcome a third bout against Gennady Golovkin. The two fought to a draw in their initial encounter and Alvarez won the second bout.
Smith said he was devastated by the outcome but gave credit where it was due, calling Alvarez ‘clever’ after their bout
Smith had his moments and showed his toughness to take it to a decision but there was never a doubt about the winner
He said: ”I feel great at 168lbs. I don’t want to fight the scales and after 13 months you can see what I can do. This is one of the best nights I have had, one of the greatest nights. I will go for more. I want all the belts, it doesn’t matter who has them.’
And Smith reflected: ‘I’m devastated. I came here to win. No excuses, he was very good.
‘Maybe I’ve been on the weight too long. I don’t feel as dominant late on in fights.
‘It could have been a better version of me tonight. He performed and was the better man.
‘He is smart to be honest. He is clever. He closes ground, sets traps and before you know it he’s closed the ground up. I maybe let him close the ground up too easily.’