Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez inflicted a punishing beating on Callum Smith during a dominant points win as the Mexican star unified the WBA and WBC super-middleweight belts.
The four-weight world champion easily dealt with the superior size of Smith, who was forced to withstand a ferocious attack in the closing rounds as Canelo closed out victory with wide scores of 119-109, 119-109 and 117-111 in Texas.
Smith had been attempting one of the biggest victories in British boxing history against the sport’s pound-for-pound star, but the 30-year-old was powerless to prevent Canelo from taking away his unbeaten record and the WBA ‘super’ belt.
Edging forward in the first round, Canelo delivered an early body shot as he weaved inside the long reach of Smith, who replied with stiff jabs.
A crunching hook from Canelo rattled Smith’s ribs in the second round and the fight continued at close quarters in the third, with the Liverpudlian forced to trade with his back to the ropes.
But Canelo was clinically dictating the contest from his own distance, ramming in a right hand in the fourth, while the reversing Smith was on the receiving end of stinging jabs in the fifth.
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Smith’s jab was not a discouraging weapon for Canelo, who found room for a short, sharp right hand in the sixth, then unloaded an uppercut in the seventh.
A clean right hand from Smith could not even gain Canelo’s respect in the eighth, and blood trickled from the Brit’s nose before he was staggered by a spiteful assault in the ninth.
Canelo sent out punches with savage intent in the 10th, resuming his search for a stoppage, although Smith fired back defiantly amidst more hurtful shots in the 11th.
But Canelo even had time to flash a grin as he completed his painful masterpiece in the closing round to seal another dominant victory.