Liverpool’s Smith seeks winning American debut in Canelo clash, Monroe Jr battles Rosado


Lee Gormley | September 15, 2016

Liam Smith v Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez

  • WBO light-middleweight title fight
  • Sunday, September 18th
  • Scheduled for: 03:00 BST
  • AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
  • Live on BoxNation

Canelo v Smith tips

Liverpool’s Liam Smith makes the third defence of his WBO light-middleweight title this weekend in what will be his first fight on American soil, with Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez the challenger at the AT&T Stadium in Texas.

Undefeated Merseysider Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) claimed his 154lbs strap when stopping American John Thompson back in October last year and has successfully defended it twice against Jimmy Kelly and Predrag Radosevic, though he faces a much tougher test in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Despite entering the ring as the defending champion, the 28-year-old is set to be a 6/1 outsider with Coral for victory on his American debut against Canelo (47-1-1, 33 KOs), who has become arguably the sport’s biggest draw since the retirement of Floyd Mayweather last year.

The heavily favoured Mexican is being lined up for a middleweight showdown with unified 160lbs kingpin Gennady Golovkin in 2017, but first must be wary of the threat posed by a determined Joe Gallagher trained title holder.

Smith confident of upsetting odds

Having so far spent his career fighting in the UK, mainly his home city of Liverpool, WBO titlist Smith has a great opportunity to propel himself to boxing stardom in the United States, in front of a rapturous 40k AT&T Stadium spectators.

The reigning champion is confident of boosting his reputation massively with success against one of the sport’s biggest names, and believes he can show the global audience that he belongs at this elite level.

“I think I am the underdog, definitely from the American side, because not many of them have seen a few of my fights. I think if you have clips of stoppages and clips of fights here and there, people would be more confident,” said Smith, who is 18/1 to gain the decision this weekend.

“From my point of view, I am the underdog going into this fight. I’m not saying I’m not. But I’m the underdog because I haven’t fought at that level yet against anyone of Canelo’s level.

“I also haven’t had the chance to. So when I beat Canelo, from my point of view, I will be able to say, ‘I told you so. I told you I was at that level.'”

Canelo out to please fans with win

At just 26 years of age, Canelo has become the flag bearer for Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, is the new face of boxing in his homeland of Mexico and enters his 50th professional career fight as an overwhelming front runner.

The fiery headed South American is 11/4 to halt Smith’s efforts inside rounds 7-9 in Texas, where he calls his second home, and is not looking to disappoint the partisan crowd.

“I always give the best of me for the fans,” outlined Alvarez. “Texas is special is my second my home, the people are great the fans are great. This is a historic night for me and for boxing and I am very motivated to perform for all the fans at AT&T stadium.”

Despite taking to his latest outing as the huge odds-on 1/10 favourite, Canelo isn’t taking Smith lightly and has been preparing vigorously for all the Merseysider’s dangerous assets.

“We know he is dangerous…”

“We have seen footage of Liam Smith, he is a strong fighter and his style of boxing is similar to mine,” continued the Mexican, who is 12/5 to earn a points triumph.

“Both our styles will make a great fight for all the fans on Saturday. He is hard puncher, connects, comes forward and has good combinations. We know he is dangerous and we are not underestimating him.

“I am preparing for a fighter that comes forward, I am ready for anything. We will show the best fight we can for all the fans on Saturday night.”

All roads are leading towards a megabout against middleweight dominator ‘GGG’ next year, with the Kazakh having recently brutally stopped Kell Brook, but Canelo has a stern match-up against Smith to focus on before any such showdown can finally be agreed.

Monroe Jr and Rosado collide on undercard

On the undercard in Texas, two resilient middleweight contenders Willie Monroe Jr and Gabriel Roado will go head-to-head, with the hope of another crack world title shot at stake.

Both fighters are previous stoppage victims of Golovkin, having been stopped during their attempts at dethroning the devastating knockout artist, with Monroe Jr losing out most recently last year and Rosado in 2013.

The latter Philadelphia native ended a hapless five-fight losing streak last year when outpointing Joshua Clottey before overcoming Antonio Gutierrez earlier this past summer, and is 13/8 to get the better of Monroe Jr this weekend.

Though the New York southpaw is an odds-on 1/2 fight favourite for his latest outing, as the 29-year-old aims to bounce back from his loss at the hands of ‘GGG’ and further his prospects in a must-win bout for both fighters.


Read our extensive boxing archive ahead of the big fight this weekend.

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