Results From Arlington – The main event of Saturday night, September 17th’s HBO pay-per-view saw Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez facing England’s Liam Smith for the Brit’s WBO world title at 154 pounds. The stadium certainly looked to be approaching 60,000 fans as the champion Liam Smith entered the ring first. Smith looked calm and cool entering the ring, while the crowd showed itself firmly in Alvarez’s corner while the Mexican superstar entered the ring.
Alvarez took the lead in the early going, outputting more punches while Smith stayed behind his tight defense. The pace picked up slightly in the second round, and Smith landed a short punch that gave Alvarez a small cut above his left eye.
Alvarez came out more aggressive in the third. When Smith landed, Alvarez answered with harder punches. In round four, Alvarez started to land with more frequency, though Smith closed the round with his best minute of the fight.
Smith came out a touch more aggressive in round five but Alvarez answered resutling in the best exchanges of the fight. Smith went to his corner with facial cuts, but he had his most active round offensively. Smith again had moments in the sixth, trapping Canelo against the ropes, but Alvarez answered with hard punches. Bleeding again, Smith answered Alvarez’s tough guy stance with roughhouse tactics of his own and drew a warning from the referee.
Alvarez remained stoic and unforgiving and he lured Smith into a firefight in round seven. The two fought forehead to forehead as Smith gained confidence, but Alvarez landed a big right hand that sent Smith down. Smith proved to be OK as he closed the round strong after defending Alvarez’s attempt to close out the fight with headhunting shots.
Round eight saw Smith fighting confidently, but Alvarez landed a crumpling body shot late in the round to send Smith down on one knee. Alvarez was beginning to break through as the two consecutive rounds with knockdowns likely gave him an insurmountable lead heading into the final rounds. It would not take Alvarez long into round 10 to land another crippling body shot that sent Smith down to the canvas to end the fight.
Smith went out on his shield, but he wasn’t on Alvarez’s level as Canelo was the stronger and crisper fighter from beginning to end.
The vacant WBO Inter-continental belt at middleweight was up for grabs between Willie Monroe Jr (20-2) and Gabriel Rosado (23-9). In the build-up to this one, the two seemed to get under each other’s skin giving this the flavor of a grudge match.
Monroe Jr came out fighting out of a bit of a crouch and the two men fought at a distance early as Rosado looked for openings. Halfway through a methodical affair, both corners thought they were ahead in the fight as Monroe did well using precise shots out of his crouch while Rosado applied the pressure moving forward. By the eighth round, the measured pace earned a smattering of boos.
The latter rounds saw the fight get sloppy, as Rosado was cut on the back of the neck and head by an accidental foul in the 10th and a clash of heads swelled Rosado’s left eye in the 11th round. Round twelve saw more of the same. Both men were content to go to the judges, and Monroe Jr earned a second warning for holding. The judges returned cards of 116-112, 118-110 and 117-111 in favor of Willie Monroe Jr.
In the second bout of the televised portion of the show, Joseph “Jojo” Diaz (21-0) met Andrew Cancio (17-3-2) for Diaz’s NABF featherweight belt. The two engaged in a feeling-out process for several rounds after which Diaz slowly upped the pressure. By round three Cancio was bleeding from the nose, but he continued to move forward and he did try to work the body once inside.
By round six, the constant pressure from Diaz was taking its toll on Cancio. Diaz was very relaxed throughout and his defense early meant he was fresh for the later rounds. Cancio on the other hand, was beginning to wear out from the constant attack.
Diaz started cruising in round seven as he appeared to be protecting a hurt right hand. Between the seventh and eighth Cancio’s corner considered stopping the fight, and with about 30 seconds left in round eight they signaled the referee to halt the proceedings. Diaz becomes the first fighter to stop Cancio as a pro, and he did it with a potentially broken hand.
Leading off the HBO pay-per-view broadcast was a 10 round fight in the super bantamweight division between Diego De La Hoya (15-0) and Luis Orlando Del Valle (22-2). Through the early rounds Del Valle kept it interesting, landing several good shots, but De La Hoya was the stronger, more technical fighter. Landing more punches as the fight settled into a measured pace, De La Hoya gradually slowed down his dangerous Puerto Rican adversary.
At the end of the fight, Del Valle was swollen and bleeding around one of his eyes. The judges scored the fight 100-90,99-91, 99-91 for De La Hoya.
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The preliminary fights are in the books at AT&T Stadium from earlier in the afternoon.
A 10-round welterweight bout between Sadam Ali (22-1) and Saul Corral (22-7) ended the undercard broadcast. This was a bounce back fight for Ali who was coming off the first loss of his career to Jessie Vargas this past March. Corral was 10-1 in his last 11 fights, but Ali, as expected, outclassed him. The judges had it 99-91, 99-90, 99-90 in favor of Ali.
The show opened with Alexis Salazar (12-3) opposing Larry Smith (10-28-1). The 21 year old Salazar is associated with Canelo’s camp, while the 37 year old Smith is a weathered journeyman known for providing ring time to some top names over the years. The six round bout showed Salazar’s good and bad points, but Smith, whose nickname is “Slow Motion” was never able to mount much of an offense. At the end, the judges came back with scores of 60-54, 60-54 and 58-56 in favor of Salazar.
Up next were Zachary Ochoa (15-0) and Daniel Montoya (11-4) for eight rounds at super lightweight. Ochoa is the prospect in this one, and the 23 year old Brooklynite was coming off an eighth round KO of Luis Gonzalez at GBP’s L.A. Fight Club event back in June. Montoya has gone 2-1 in 2016 after a layoff of nearly four years. Ochoa banked the first few rounds against Montoya, who was providing game resistance but was falling behind. If Montoya was waiting for Ochoa to tire, it did not happen, as Ochoa picked up the pace and started to back Montoya off with harder punches. The pace slowed slightly in the later rounds, but Ochoa stayed ahead throughout and in the end he won the unanimous decision over the veteran Montoya.
Bantamweight Bryan Bazan (9-3) faced undefeated Texan Joshua Franco (6-0) in a 6 round bout. Bazan landed a shot that seemed to shake up Franco about halfway through the first round, but Franco answered back before the end of a heated first round. The pace slowed a bit in round two, but the round saw Franco start to put together better combinations. Round three saw Franco pick up the pace, mixing in uppercuts. Bazan was down twice in the round, once early and once late, both times from uppercuts. Bazan came out game in round four but he was floored by a massive uppercut that ended the fight at the :19 mark.
Four round action followed as Hector Tanajara Jr (6-0) took on veteran Roy Garcia (3-19-1). As the records indicate, Garcia was outlcassed by the hard hitting Tanahara, but the rugged journeyman lasted the full four round distance without hitting the canvas. The judges had the fight for Tanahara by scores of 40-36 across the board.
More four round action followed as Vergil Ortiz (1-0) faced Ernesto Hernandez (1-3). The two men went through a short feeling-out process before Ortiz landed a big right hand that sent Hernandez to the canvas and had the referee calling the fight over before the full ten count. The official time of the stoppage was :40 of round 1 as Vergil Ortiz goes to 2-0.
Anthony Yarde def. Rayford Johnson via TKO in RD 1.
Results From Arlington / Check out The Boxing Channel’s “Canelo” vs Smith pre-fight analysis with Kid Hersh.