CANELO ALVAREZ AND LIAM SMITH TO BATTLE FOR THE WBO JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 PRESENTED LIVE BY HBO PAY-PER-VIEW®
LOS ANGELES (June 24, 2016) – Known for his power and dominance in the ring, Canelo Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) will look to win his third title in the junior middleweight division when he challenges undefeated heavy-hitter Liam “Beefy” Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship on Saturday, September 17.
A battle between two power-punchers, Canelo vs. Smith promises action between two fighters willing to take a punch in order to secure the next Knockout of the Year. The event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Information regarding venue and tickets will be announced shortly.
“I am very pleased to announce my next fight against Liam Smith, a tremendous fighter with real knockout power, and the WBO junior middleweight world title owner,” said Canelo Alvarez. “I have no doubt that this fight will be give and take, which will fill the expectations of the fans, and I will work with all the enthusiasm as I always do to get the upper hand on 17 September.”
With the bout’s announcement, Canelo has fulfilled his pledge to headline the two biggest fight nights of the year; Cinco De Mayo – when he knocked out Amir Khan in dramatic fasion — and Mexican Independence Day.
Current WBO Junior Middleweight Champion Liam “Beefy” Smith has built a reputation as one of the hardest punchers in the sport as his last eight victories have come by knockout. Defeating Canelo via knockout is now his top priority, as he begins to establish his legacy in becoming the UK’s next boxing super-star.
“I am delighted to get the opportunity to defend my world title against the biggest name in world boxing and to headline in the U.S. which is a dream I have had since I started in the sport of boxing,” said Liam Smith. “This fight allows me to make my name in the U.S. and show just how good I am and this is the big stage that will enable me to do that. I thank my team for getting me this opportunity: Frank Warren, BoxNation, Daniel and of course Golden Boy for providing it. I am confident of winning this fight and returning to the great city of Liverpool with my belt still around my waist.”
“This fight will be a slugfest between two heavy hitters, and I have little doubt that it will end with a 10-count,” said Oscar De La Hoya, CEO and Chairman of Golden Boy Promotions. “Canelo is the biggest star in our sport today, and with a victory on September 17, at the age of just 26 he can add yet another chapter to his already-incredible career.”
“Liam grabbed the opportunity to defend his WBO title against Alvarez,” said Frank Warren. “This is a fantastic chance for Liam to showcase his talent in such a high profile fight. He believes, as do I, that he has the tools to beat Alvarez and stake his own claim to be the world’s best.”
At the age of 25, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico’s Canelo Alvarez, the current Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion, has conquered the boxing world, captivating fans both at home and around the globe with his action-packed fighting style, charisma and willingness to take on the toughest challenges. Canelo’s road to stardom began in 2011 with a win over Matthew “Magic” Hatton for the vacant WBC Super Welterweight World title, his first title defense against Ryan Rhodes and stoppage victories over Alfonso Gomez and Kermit Cintron.
Then in 2012, Canelo defended his belt against future Hall of Famer Sugar Shane Mosley and showed the veteran his first retirement, winning via unanimous decision. Canelo continued on the path to superstardom in 2013 with a fifth round technical knockout of Josesito Lopez, followed by a unanimous decision victory over then world champion, Austin Trout in front of over 40,000 fans at San Antonio’s Alamodome. The victory earned Canelo the WBA Super Welterweight World Championship and proved his dominance at 154-pounds and as a bonafide ticket seller. On September 14, 2013, Canelo faced the man on top of the pound-for-pound list – Floyd “Money” Mayweather – giving a stellar effort before falling short of victory for the first time via 12-round majority decision.
The fight ended up being the biggest of 2013, but also the second highest grossing bout of all-time and the second most watched boxing event ever on Mexican television (only behind 2015’s Mayweather-Pacquiao). Since then, Canelo has defeated top stars Alfredo “Perro” Angulo via 10th round technical knockout and Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara via split decision in 2014. On May 9, 2015, Alvarez dazzled with a victory over the fierce James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland at Minute Maid Park in Houston in front of more than 31,000 fans that featured what many deemed the Knockout of the Year in 2015. At the end of 2015, Alvarez defeated future Hall-of-Famer Miguel Cotto for the WBC, RING Magazine and Lineal Middleweight Championship in front of a packed arena at the Mandalay Events Center in Las Vegas and more than 900,000 homes across the country. The unanimous decision victory cemented Canelo’s status as boxing’s biggest draw and among the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Finally, Canelo delivered another Knockout of the Year contender in May of this year, knocking out Amir “King” Khan in the sixth round of his first middleweight title defense opening up the new state-of-the-art T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Part of the Famous Fighting Smith Brothers, where brothers Callum, Paul and Stephen have all competed in the boxing elite level as current title holders and world championship title challengers with Liam “Beefy” Smith is the first to hold a world championship title. A decorated fighter and current WBO Junior Middleweight Champion, Smith has maintained his undefeated status since his 2008 debut, defeating his last eight opponents by knockout. Smith began his knockout prowess in 2013 when he defended his BBB of CBritish Super Welterweight Title by knocking out Marck Thompson in the fourth round. 2014 saw Smith defend his British belt and win the vacant WBA
Continental Super Welterweight Title with dramatic stoppages against Jason Welborn and Zoltan Sera proving that Smith belonged in the upper ranks in the division. In 2015, The Scouse warrior went on to stop Robert Talarek by an eighth-round technical knockout in March and then claimed WBO Intercontinental Super Welterweight Title when he finished David Ezequiel “La Herradura” Romero with a seventh-round technical knockout in April. By October of 2015, Smith proved to be an elite fighter as he defeated John “Apollo Kid” Thompson via seventh-round technical knockout to be crowned as the new WBO Junior Middleweight Champion. Since then, Smith has made two successful defenses of his world championship defeating ‘Jimmy’ Kilrain Kelly also in the seventh round in December 2015 and most recently Predrag “Pedja” Radosevic in June 2016 with a devastating second round knockout.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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