Canelo Alvarez reinforced his case of being boxing's pound-for-pound king Saturday night.
If there was any doubt of who the best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing is, Canelo Alvarez cleared it Saturday night.
Alvarez battered Callum Smith from start to finish to win by unanimous decision (119-109, 119-109, 117-111) to capture the WBA (Super), The Ring, and WBC super middleweight titles from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. DAZN News also scored the fight 119-109 for Alvarez.
"Smith is a great fighter, but as you see, I did a great job," Alvarez said through an interpreter in his post-fight interview. "I'm the best in the world. I showed what I am. I feel great at 168 (pounds). I don't want to fight with the scale. I want to unify. I want all the belts. It doesn't matter who is there."
From the opening round, Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) came out and let Smith know it wasn't going to be his night. He walked Smith down, pumped the jab, and started digging his patented left hook to the body. As the minutes ticked away, Alvarez kept getting better. He landed the harder, crisper shots. Alvarez rocked Smith on more than one occasion in the ninth round and looked to be moments away from putting him away.
To Smith's (27-1, 19 KOs) credit, he exemplified the heart of a champion. The Englishman continued to throw and try to force the issue. However, Alvarez showed excellent head movement and superb footwork that caused Smith to continue to miss wildly. Even when Smith did connect, the punches didn't faze Mexico's native. The 30-year-old walked through them and continued stalking Smith, hurting him with one vicious power shot after another en route to become the unified world super middleweight champion.
Now, what's next for boxing's biggest star? Alvarez says he wants all the belts at 168 pounds, so fights with IBF titlist Caleb Plant and WBO titleholder Billy Joe Saunders could be on the horizon.
But the one many boxing fans want to see is the trilogy bout with IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin, who beat Kamil Szeremeta by seventh-round TKO on Friday night. Alvarez and Golovkin fought to a highly controversial split draw in September 2017 in a fight most felt "GGG" won. They stepped back in the ring one year later, with Alvarez winning a close majority decision. When asked about the trilogy fight by DAZN's Chris Mannix, Alvarez smiled while the limited crowd cheered. The 30-year-old didn't say yes but didn't say no, either. He did make it clear, however, that he ducks nobody and wants to face the best opponents possible regardless of weight class.
"I don't run from nobody," Alvarez said. "I fight against the best. If (Golovkin) wants to fight, I'll take it. I fight against the best. I feel more mature. I feel better."
Here is what happened at Canelo vs. Smith.
Canelo vs. Smith results
Canelo Alvarez def. Callum Smith via unanimous decision (119-109, 119-109, 117-111) to win the WBA (Super), The Ring, and WBC super middleweight titles
Marc Castro def. Luis Javier Valdes by knockout at 1:59 of the third round
Frank Sanchez def. Julian Fernandez via knockout at 1:35 of the seventh round
Raymond Ford def. Juan Antonio Lopez by knockout at 1:14 of the seventh round
Austin Williams def. Isaiah Jones via TKO at 1:29 of the first round
Robert Greenwood and Alexis Eduardo Molina go to a majority draw (39-37 Greenwood, 38-38, 38-38)
Christian Gomez Duran def. Angel Hernandez by knockout at 1:54 of the third round
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Canelo Alvarez beats Callum Smith to become unified super middleweight champion
Alvarez def. Smith by unanimous decision (119-109, 119-109, 117-111) to become the WBA (Super) The Ring, and WBC super middleweight champion. Who gave Smith three rounds? They shouldn't be allowed to judge again.
Alvarez is breaking Smith down at will. He's connecting on devastating punches upstairs and to the body. Everything is being thrown now by Alvarez with evil intentions. The smaller man is pushing the bigger man back. It's a sight to see and one you don't see often. (10-9 Canelo, 99-91 Canelo)
What an action round we have going on. Alvarez rocks Smith on more than one occasion with the right uppercut. Alvarez is doing the right thing and still going hard to the body. It appears to be a matter of time before Alvarez finishes Smith off. (10-9 Canelo, 89-82 Canelo)
Alvarez is fighting with no fear. Smith's connects on three hard right hands and Alvarez walks right through them like it's nothing and snaps Smith's head back with a right uppercut. Alvarez goes right back to the jab to keep Smith at bay. Smith is trying and giving it everything he has. (10-9 Canelo, 79-73 Canelo)
The greats make adjustments and that's what Alvarez is doing. He closes the gap and goes back to digging the body and landing upstairs. Smith is connecting on shots but Alvarez's punches are cleaner. (10-9 Canelo, 69-64 Canelo)
Smith is finally letting his hands go with vigor and it's paying off. He's keeping Alvarez back and not letting him connect on anything of substance. He has to continue to throw and keep Alvarez at distance as that's his best way to get back into the fight. (10-9 Smith, 59-55 Canelo)
Like the fourth round, Smith begins fast but slows down again. Alvarez isn't respecting Smith's ability and rightfully so. He's showing great movement and slipping out of the way of what Smith is throwing at him. The jab from Alvarez is on point and he's throwing it with laser-like accuracy. (10-9 Canelo, 50-45 Canelo)
Smith is starting to have some success with the right but all it seemed to do was make Alvarez angry. Alvarez stuns Smith with a right hand of his own. Alvarez is landing the crisper shots and starting mark Smith up. (10-9 Canelo, 40-36 Canelo)
Alvarez is getting into a rhythm and gaining confidence every second. He's closing the distance and following up the jab with right hands down the middle. Smith throws a three-punch combination with 20 seconds remaining. That's what Smith has to do to get into the fight. Has to be first, not last. (10-9 Canelo, 30-27 Canelo)
Smith's gameplan here is baffling. He has the physical advantages but is fighting like the smaller guy. Alvarez is pumping the jab and going to the body while Smith keeps going back to the ropes. Smith needs to be the aggressor and force the issue. (10-9 Canelo, 20-18 Canelo)
Both guys are feeling each other out early on. Smith's been reluctant to use the jab so Canelo starts doing it by going upstairs and to the body. Canelo is utilizing pressure and walking Smith down already. (10-9 Canelo)
Marc Castro knocks out Luis Javier Valdes in pro debut
Castro def. Valdes by knockout at 1:59 of the third round. Castro gets Valdes against the ropes and just explodes with an eight-punch combination upstairs and to the body. The final blow is a thudding left hook to the body to send Valdes to a knee. The referee is counting and Valdes is shaking his head no. Valdes gets up before the count of 10 and the referee waves it off.
You couldn't ask for a better pro debut. What I liked from Castro is how he listened to his father, who told him to calm down after the first round. He looked loose and let everything flow from there, leading to the stoppage. Can't wait to see Castro in the future. Definitely keep your eye out for him.
Castro looks much more composed and relaxed in there. After a heavy exchange on the inside, Castro lands a chopping right hand to send Valdes down for the first time. Castro is looking crisp and sharp thus far.
It's time for the co-main event of Canelo vs. Smith as Marc Castro takes on Luis Javier Valdes in super featherweight action. Castro (0-0) is making his highly anticipated pro debut. As an amateur, Castro had a stellar 177-7 record. Valdes (7-5-1, 2 KOs) comes in having lost back-to-back tilts.
Valdes is a good body for Castro's debut. The pros are different than the amateur ranks. Excited to see how Castro performs.
Frank Sanchez knocks out Julian Fernandez through the ring
Sanchez def. Fernandez by knockout at 1:35 of the seventh round. Sanchez gets Fernandez against the ropes and lands a vicious straight right hand followed by a short left and punctuated things with a blistering right that sends him through the ring with his head hitting the stairs.
After starting strong in the first two rounds, for some reason Sanchez took it easy and let Fernandez hang around. Sanchez finally ramped it up halfway through the sixth round and didn't let up from there.
Sanchez is unbeaten in 18 fights with 13 knockouts. It's time for Sanchez to get a guy around the top 10 in the heavyweight division. Michael Hunter, anyone?
Coming up at Canelo vs. Smith, Frank Sanchez faces Julian Fernandez in heavyweight action. Sanchez (16-0, one no contest 12 KOs) was one of the primary sparring partners for Canelo Alvarez leading up to this evening. In his last time out, Fernandez (14-2, 11 KOs) lost by knockout to Arslanbek Makhmudov.
Sanchez has a chance to make a good impression here. Fernandez is the type of guy to do that. By the way, what is the WBO/NABO heavyweight title? Can we stop with nonsense belts in boxing?