Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) was crowned the new WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion in front of a record-breaking crowd of 51,240 roaring fans at the home of the Dallas Cowboys, AT and T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, when he unleashed a vicious body shot in the ninth round, flooring opponent Liam Smith (23-1-1, 13 KOs) for the knockout win.
The stadium's previous boxing attendance record was 50,994 for the Manny Pacquiao versus Joshua Clottey bout in 2010.
"Liam Smith was a resilient fighter, he was tough, has a lot of heart," said Alvarez. "He thinks before he attacks, I could tell in the way he blocked in the way he approached me. The body shot, was what I focused on, making sure I worked his body down, and that is what secured the victory today."
Both Mexico's Alvarez and England's Smith came out aggressively, putting on an exciting battle and exchanging combinations. However, as the fight progressed, Canelo's superior talent and strength began to show, as he dropped Smith with an overhand right to the head for the first time in the Brit's career.
In the eighth round, Smith was knocked down again by a body shot. Finally, at the 2:28 mark of the ninth round, Canelo secured himself another world title, landing a brutal shot to Smith's liver, immobilizing the fighter.
Even more impressive, Canelo was able to dominate despite an apparent hand injury he suffered during the bout.
"I started going after him, but in the second round I hurt my hand," said Alvarez. "I hurt my right hand and had to use the left more often. There was some disparity but that's what happened. I felt he was very strong in the beginning so I had to put the body work and felt he would dwindle, that's how I did my job. I give big punches with my body shots, and I enjoyed it very much."
Canelo then made sure to discuss the subject on everyone's mind -- his potential matchup with Gennady Golovkin.
"I fear no man," said Alvarez. "I am the best fighter in this sport. About a month ago, we offered 'GGG' three times as much to make the fight and we're ready for him, but he doesn't want to accept. As I said, we are a team and I fear no one."
Smith, despite a game effort, admitted he was not quite at Canelo's elite level at this stage of his career.
"If I would have waited a little longer and gotten more experience I would have been able to fight a guy like [Canelo] better," said Smith. "I am very disappointed. Canelo was too good today, I needed better timing, my timing was off tonight. I was smaller and had no time to make him even think twice. We caught him with body shots well, and he handled his own."
In the co-main event Philly's Gabriel Rosado (23-10, 13 KOs) battled Willie Monroe, Jr. (21-2, 6 KOs), of Rochester, New York, in a 12-round match for the vacant WBO Intercontinental Middleweight. The judges gave Monroe the win by unanimous decision with scores of 116-112, 118-110, and 117-111.
"I have no problem with Rosado, I have no personal problems with anyone, it's business," said Willie Monroe, Jr. "I just want to thank God for this twenty first victory. I want to thank HBO for the opportunity, hopefully I performed and they want to bring me back. I also want to thank Banner Promotions, my team and my grandfather who passed away in 2013. He raised me and this has been a dream in the making for 29 years and it's still going."
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services