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Canelo Alvarez-Liam Smith fight breakdown

By Sevak Sarkisian

As most fight fans already know, Boxing super star and former

two division WBC world title holder Saul “ Canelo” Alvarez (47-1- 1 33KO’s) will be

taking on current reigning WBO super welterweight world titlist Liam “Beefy”

Smith (23-0- 1 13KO’s) on Saturday September 17 th from the AT&T Stadium in

Arlington Texas. The fight will be televised live on HBO PPV with Gabe Rosado

and Willie Monroe Jr. serving as the co-future.

In today’s boxing current landscape, the biggest fight to be made in regards to fan

interest is Canelo Alvarez versus Gennady Golovkin (current world middleweight

champion). Many fans are uninterested and are not giving this upcoming title

fight with Liam Smith a fair shake because of that fact. However, in my humble

opinion if we were to analyze this upcoming fight with Liam Smith in an objective

and fair manner, we would be able to conclude that it’s a quality match-up in the

super welterweight division in regards to importance and entertainment value.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez over the past few years has been fighting high level

opposition on a consistent basis. From 2013 to 2015 Canelo has faced Austin

Trout, Floyd Mayweather, Alfredo Angulo, Erislandy Lara, James Kirkland, and

Miguel Cotton. (in that very order) That is a very impressive list of opponents to

say the least, especially in today’s era of boxing. Canelo did take in what many

fans viewed as an easy fight for him against Amir Khan in his last fight (in which he

deserved) in my opinion. However, Canelo ended up making a crucial PR mistake

after knocking out Amir Khan by seemingly calling out and welcoming a fight with

his then mandatory challenger Gennady Golovkin but then ending up vacating the

belt and dropping back down to super welterweight. That move did not sit well

with many fans, and rightly so, but it’s a shame for fans to overlook this upcoming

fight with Liam Smith because of that reason because the actual match-up is a

legitimate one unlike the last one with Amir Khan.

Canelo stands at about 5’9 in height and possesses a 70 ½ inch reach. He has

good hand speed and head move meant and is physically extremely strong and

sturdy. He also possesses above average punching power for the super

welterweight division. Canelo stylistically does well when his opponents either

come straight at him or stand right in front of him. He throws great combinations

and has good punch selection. Saul Alvarez is also very good at trading with

opponents, punching, slipping and countering from midrange. However, when an

opponent decides to work off of the jab and use the ring and move around a little

bit, Canelo seems to have some trouble cutting off the ring. He seems to have

“heavy feet” despite having quick hands and good upper body movement. Canelo

at this moment in his career is known to have a tuff time getting down to the 154

pound super welterweight limit and it will be his first time making 154lbs since

fighting Austin Trout.

Liam Smith on the other hand holds the WBO super welterweight title and he

fights out of the U.K. He comes from a boxing family with many of his siblings also

being professional boxers. He stands at about 5’10 in height and is in his physical

prime at 28 years of age. Stylistically I find him to be very similar to Canelo

Alvarez in the sense that he prefers for his opponents to either come straight to

him or stay in front of him and bang it out. However, I don’t consider him to be as

skilled as Alvarez specifically in slipping and countering punches while trading

with opponents. He also doesn’t have the same hand speed and crispness to his

punches like Alvarez does. Liam Smith does possess a good strong jab which

should be one of his greatest weapons in this fight and he his physically bigger

then Alvarez, which is something Alvarez isn’t used to.

This fight guarantees excitement because of the stylistic match up and physical

and mental attributes of both fighters. Like most other fight fans around the

world, I can’t wait for Saul Alvarez to face and take on GGG in the future. But I

will not let my excitement for that potential match-up get in the way of what

coming our way on September 17 th !

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle