Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Canelo Alvarez dominates Callum Smith to win super middleweight titles

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Canelo Alvarez unanimously told previously undefeated Callum Smith to win the WBA & Ring Super Middleweight Championships and the vacant WBC Super Middleweight title on Saturday night at the Alamodome.

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

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

At 5-foot-8, Alvarez was the aggressor against the 6-foot-3 Smith.

Alvarez previously knocked out Callum’s older brother Liam on September 17, 2106, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Many speculated that Callum wanted revenge for the ninth round knockout, but Alvarez also dominated young Smith.

Alvarez and Smith were fighting for the first time this year due to restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and ring rust was evident in the first five rounds. It took almost a minute before the first punch of the fight was thrown, a forehand by Alvarez. The punches were sparse and the exchanges were brief in the first round as the two fighters shadowed each other.

Alvarez pressed on the action in the opening seconds of the second round, forcing Smith to respond with rights to the head to keep Alvarez from continuously advancing.

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

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

Alvarez continued to effectively split and dig a right hand to the face between Smith’s gloves in the fifth round. Smith followed a thunderbolt to the stomach to set up a right hook that appeared to shake Alvarez. Smith landed a second right hook after this rally.

After a rather uneventful sixth round, Alvarez landed a hard right uppercut that smashed Smith’s head back. Alvarez tried to call with another uppercut, but Smith dodged the attempt and missed his own uppercut.

Alvarez landed 60% of his powerful punches in seven rounds, compared to just 20% by Smith.

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

Smith landed on the ropes with a heavy right hook to the head with about 1 1/2 minutes remaining in the ninth round.

Alvarez continued to hit Smith in the head in the later laps, making Smith’s face a bright red from the repeated hits.

Post-fight cameras caught Smith’s left arm looking quite distorted as he made his way to his locker room.

After the win, Alvarez said he would welcome a third fight against Gennady Golovkin. The two boxers fought for a draw in their initial meeting and Alvarez won the second fight.

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

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

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