Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez won the WBO world super-welterweight title with a ninth-round stoppage against Liam Smith of Britain at the AT&T Arena in Texas on Saturday night.
Smith (23-1-1-KO13) was knocked down three times by Alvarez (48-1-1-KO34) to record in his first loss. This was Alvarez' first world title fight at 154lbs since his loss to Floyd Mayweather three-years-ago.
CANELO wins by KO with devastating body punch !!! P4P King of Boxing !!! pic.twitter.com/Cd9YvvrAIj
— Bloodstain Lane (@TheHolyHEEL) September 18, 2016
From the opening round, the 26-year-old Mexican looked the sharper of the two landing straight rights and jabs while Smith threw few counter punches.
A slight cut above Alvarez' left eye in the second round did little to stop him taking the fight to the champion with a good combination of punches landing.
Alvarez landed some vicious body shots early in the third, to control the round but Smith did land a few shots late in the round.
The fourth was a lot closer with Smith getting more into the fight and could have shaded the round.
As fight proceeded it was a lot tighter and in the sixth round there was some great action but Smith did get warned for hitting on the break.
In the seventh, with Smith trying to take charge on the ropes, he was caught by a solid overhand right from Alvarez behind the ear that sent him crashing to the canvas. He got to his feet promptly to complete the round.
Alvarez got another knockdown down in the eighth round when nailing Smith with a left to the solar plexus that put the champion on his haunches gasping for air.
The finish came in the ninth when Alvarez threw a left hook upstairs and followed that up with a big punch to Smith's kidney area collapsing the champion for the referee to step in and stop the fight.
After the fight in an interview with HBO, Alvarez claimed WBA, WBC, IBF and IBO champion Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin (36-0-KO33) had swerved facing him by already rejecting a contract offer.
This fight was for all of my people. As I said on the ring, "We are a team and we'll do this together." Viva Mexico! pic.twitter.com/IV56iprRnT
— Canelo Alvarez (@Canelo) September 18, 2016
"I fear nobody. I was born for this and even though many people may not like it, I'm the best fighter right now," said Alvarez.
"About a month ago, we offered him [Golovkin] twice or three times as much to make the fight. I didn't want to say anything because I respect my rivals. He didn't want to accept.
"We're a team. I'm not going to blame my promoter or anyone else. I fear nobody. I'm 26 years old, I've fought the best in history and as I've already said, I'm the best at this moment in time.
"I want to thank everybody that's here. I told you I was going to give you a big fight and bring you the championship and here it is.
"I started controlling him [Smith] but in the second round, I hurt my right hand so I had to use my left more often. I could only use my right hand sparingly.
"I felt he was very strong in the beginning so I felt I had to put that body work in and eventually he would dwindle. I did my job. Great fights come when matches fit well. I'm a counter-puncher so I enjoyed this fight very much."
Smith said he was very disappointed at losing and said his lack of experience played a part in his defeat.
"If I would have waited a little longer and gotten more experience I would have been able to fight a guy like that better," said Smith.
"I am very disappointed. Canelo was too good today, I needed better timing, my timing was off tonight.
"If I waited a little longer and maybe got more experience, I would be able to fight a guy like that better."