Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
“First of all, I want to say I told you I was going to give a great fight and get the championship and here it is,” said the newly crowned WBO Jr. Middleweight champ Canelo Alvarez after defeating the UK’s Liam “Beefy” Smith.
The fight took place in front of a record selling crowd of 51,000 plus fans at AT&T Stadium. While Smith displayed the heart of a champion, he was clearly overmatched from the opening bell.
Throughout the bout, Alvarez frequently leaned on the ropes and welcomed a barrage of shots from the Englishman, but the blows had little to no effect.
By the ninth round Alvarez’s bodywork had taken a toll on Smith and with a left hook to the liver, Alvarez ended Smith’s night and reign as champion.
So what’s next for the man we know as cinnamon?
Well, we can start off by addressing the elephant in the room that is, Gennady Golovkin. Throughout the days leading up to his bout with Smith, Alvarez was bombarded with questions about GGG.
When will you take that fight? Did you see his fight with Brook and what did you think? Is Oscar keeping you away from GGG?
Out of respect for Smith and his team, Canelo declined to address the questions or would answer vaguely.
It wasn’t until his post-fight interview with HBO’s Max Kellerman that he addressed the Kazakh fighter.
“About a month ago, we offered GGG, two or three times as much as he’s made to make the fight. We are ready for him and waiting for his response,” said Alvarez.
“As I said, we are a team and I fear no one. I fight the best and I want to fight the best. People may not like it, but I’m the best in the world right now. It’s my era now,” said Alvarez.
Canelo’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, was seen smiling ear to ear throughout fight night. Not only did his cash cow win, he did it in spectacular fashion, and in front of a record crowd.
Add in the fact that his top prospects Diego De La Hoya and Joseph Diaz Jr. won impressively as well, and you get yourself a night worthy of celebration. The Golden Boy would later address the offer made to Golovkin at the post fight presser.
Photo by Porfirio Barron Jr./RBRBoxing
“I made an eight figure off to GGG and his people and I haven’t heard back,” said De La Hoya.
“Canelo is not afraid of anyone. He will fight GGG in September. All they need to do is call me back.”
Now the question becomes, who will Canelo face to prepare for the Big Drama Show?
After injuring his right hand during his victory over Smith doctors found an avulsion fracture of the right thumb.
Although Canelo does not need surgery, he will be immobilized for the next six weeks and he will be unable to fight again in 2016.
According to Golden Boy Promotions, this does nothing to Canelo’s plans to move up and take on the best in the middleweight division next year.
In the lead up to Canelo vs. Smith, the winner of the co-main event between Gabriel Rosado and Willie Monroe Jr. was rumored to be a candidate for the Canelo sweepstakes.
Monroe, also known as “El Mongoose,” handled Rosado with relative ease, slipping and ducking Rosado’s attacks, while landing cleaner more effective blows.
“I think his [Canelo] style and my style make up an interesting matchup,” said Monroe after the fight.
“My style is, la escuela Cubana, which is hit and don’t get hit. It’ll test Canelo to see if he can catch me and it will test me to see if I can keep him at bay,” said Monroe.
Alvarez did make it clear that he and his body are done fighting at the Jr. Middleweight division and he would be stepping up in weight.
While Alvarez has taken on just about every challenge thrown his way, pure boxers tend to be his weakness. Mayweather comes to mind, who gave Alvarez his only defeat, and Erislandy Lara who also caused problems for Alvarez throughout their bout.
When asked about the names he was looking at Alvarez simply replied, “I want to fight the best. It doesn’t matter who. Right now, it’s my era and I only want to face the best.”
If Golovkin and Alvarez come to terms for next September, Alvarez may only have time to take on one opponent before then, assuming his hand heals with no trouble.
Some speculate he could start to take on GGG’s leftovers, such as David Lemieux, Curtis Stevens, and the aforementioned Monroe Jr.
Regardless of what GGG did to those fighters, Monroe, Lemieux, and Stevens are all dangerous fights for Canelo. An impressive showcase against any of them would make GGG vs. Canelo, all the more intriguing.
Peter Nieves is a sports journalist who's been writing for Round By Round Boxing for almost two years. When he's not covering the sweet science, he's busy twirling his mustache and writing a comedy series. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @pnieves90