Canelo Alvarez Becomes 4 Division Champion; Outclasses Callum Smith To Become Unified Champ at 168
Pound-for-Pound champion Canelo Alvarez dominated the No. 1 168-pound champion Callum Smith to become a four-division champion at the Alamodome in the main event of DAZN’s final show of 2020
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (December 19, 2020) — Canelo Alvarez was the last major name in boxing, out of just a few fighters, to make his 2020 appearance. The Mexican superstar took the circuitous route in returning to the ring. He shed longtime promoter Golden Boy Promotions, explored a Pay Per View fight with Premier Boxing Champions Super Middleweight Caleb Plant, and eventually settled on bringing undefeated WBA and Ring Super Middleweight champion Callum Smith to America.
Familiar faces Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing and DAZN were all along the for the ride. So was Smith by the time the fight really got going.
Despite giving up seven inches of height, and over seven inches of reach, Alvarez dominated Smith from all three levels. The champion competed early, but by the late-second and third round, it became clear that class was going to become an issue quickly.
Canelo (54-1-2, 36 KOs) seized control of the fight, battered Smith round after round, and basically cruised to a full world title in his fourth division. The 30-year old Smith (27-1, 19 KOs) fought to be able to exit the ring with his respect. He fought the second half of the fight with a bloodied face, and with just a few rounds to go he reassured his team that he was capable of finishing the fight without any concerns of him being endangered.
The team deferred to his judgment, he finished the fight, but in the end Alvarez’ hand was raised as the new WBA, WBC champion of the world.
Observing the fight, it was difficult to get past the height difference between the defending champion Smith and Pound-for-Pound performer Alvarez. Oddly, the smaller Alvarez was able to jab effectively with Smith through the first two rounds.
Alvarez stalked Smith through the first two rounds, and continued to do so into the third round. Smith jabbed and bent down at times to shoot punches to Alvarez’ body. Alvarez exploded with hooks from time to time, giving Smith additional threats to be concerned about besides the jab.
Smith went away from his jab in the fourth round. He opted to look for shots from mid-range to inside – body work and uppercuts. This decision brought him into harm’s way. Alvarez slowed down over the second half of the round, after sniping Smith earlier in the round.
Smith was on the back foot again in Round 5. Smith tried to work up and down, but Alvarez covered up on much of the punches as if they were telegraphed. Smith stayed on the move mostly, but Alvarez didn’t force the issue over the second half of the round.
Alvarez controlled the center of the ring through the first minute of Round 6. Smith continued backing away. He through his jab, but with limited success. Smith’s activity disrupted Alvarez’ momentum to a degree, but he landed few effective punches, and
Alvarez popped his jab to open Round 7. He marched forward and Smith jabbed in spots. Smith landed a left hook to the body of Alvarez. Alvarez finally trapped Smith in a corner just before the final minute, only a little got through but seconds later he was successful with an uppercut. Smith’s hands remained active, but the champion accomplished little to outscore Alvarez.
Alvarez pressured the champion over the first two minutes of Round 8. Finally Smith fired away with several left hooks. He slipped in a short right hook from mid-range. Alvarez moved inside and responded a right uppercut. Under 30 seconds, Alvarez landed a sharp jab, and Smith connected with a quick combination.
Alvarez landed a big looping right hand to open Round 9. Smith responded with a big right hand before the end of the first minute. Alvarez came back with a great sequence of punches. With about 90 seconds to go Alvarez landed a combination with Smith on the ropes. Smith looked hurt for a moment. Alvarez hurt Smith again with less than 30 seconds to go. Blood poured down Smith’s face over much of the second half of the round. After the round Smith’s corner informed him they’d only watch about another round.
Alvarez marched forward in Round 10 after some early lighter punches from Smith. Alvarez attacked Smith’s body with about 90 seconds left. Smith grimaced. Smith tried to fight back, but Alvarez’ attack became methodical. After a two-handed combination from Alvarez with less than 15 seconds to go, Smith spun off the ropes and lowered his hands to relax and take a deep breath.
Smith’s chief objective, after quite a few rounds, appeared to become crossing the finish line as opposed to winning the fight. He continued to throw punches, but it seemed to be a matter of that was what he was supposed to do.
The two tapped gloves to start the final round. Alvarez closed the distance immediately. Both men threw punches. Alvarez’ attack was more meaningful. Smith did just enough before tying up with about 80 seconds left in the fight. With about 20 seconds to go Smith found the clock to see how much longer he had to go. The two finished the fight with a light jab each, Alvarez added a left hook to the body, and Smith looked relieved as he tapped gloves before walking off with his blood-stained white trunks.
The scorecards officially made Alvarez a four-division champion with scores of 117-111 and 119-109 on two cards. With his 54th victory, Alvarez became the WBA and WBC Super Middleweight champion. In December of 2018 he stopped Rocky Fielding to win the WBA regular title at 168 pounds.
Photos by Ed Mulholland/Matchroom