Canelo Alvarez almost pops Liverpool fighter Liam Smith's liver with punishing body shot KO 5 years ago

Canelo Alvarez almost pops Liverpool fighter Liam Smith's liver with punishing body shot KO

There really is no stopping Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.

The Mexican is arguably the most dangerous man in boxing right now and Liverpool's Liam Smith found out exactly why.

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The British WBO light middleweight world champion proved to be yet more cannon fodder for the furious fists of Canelo, going down to a ninth round knock-out despite a brave and resilient performance.

Smith had defended his belt twice already, but this was a real step up in class against a man who has faced the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr and Miguel Cotto. A bigger opponent, bigger stakes and certainly a bigger stage.

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

It looked set to be the fight of Smith's life. The Liverpudlian walking out at the 51,000-capacity Dallas Cowboys stadium with a chance to claim one of boxing's biggest scalps in Canelo, whose only loss came against Mayweather three years ago.

Smith was unbeaten and brimming with confidence going into the fight but he soon found he was fighting a different beast with Canelo.

The 28-year-old is known for his knock-out power but nothing he landed to the head or body seemed to be making a dent in the iron-clad Mexican's armour. Despite some good work from Smith, he was unable to hurt Canelo who, despite only being 26, has already had 50 professional fights.

Canelo found his rhythm early with the jab and then started taking Smith apart piece by piece to the head and body.

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The WBO champion was knocked down in the seventh by a devastating three-punch combo in the seventh round, the first time he has been dropped in his career.

Canelo had him on the canvas again in the eighth with a beautiful uppercut to his stomach and you could sense the end was near.

The decisive blow came 2:28 into the ninth round.

Canelo set up another crippling body shot that was reminiscent of Ricky Hatton. But this time it was too much for Smith to take.

He was scythed down with the sledgehammer of a left hook which left him writhing around on the canvas. There was no way he was going to beat the count and the referee called the fight.

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"I have no excuses," said Smith after the fight. "I lost to the better man, a great fighter. I was a bit slow at times, my timing was off and I just couldn't get his attention."

Now for Canelo there can really only be one man to fight and that's feared Kazakh fighter Gennady Golovkin, who beat British world champion Kell Brook and left him with a broken eye socket last time out.

"We are ready [for WBC, WBA and IBF middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin] - he doesn't want to accept," said Alvarez. "I fear no man. I am the best at this sport. I want to fight the best.

"About a month ago, we offered 'GGG' three or four times as much to make the fight."

It's the fight every boxing fan on the planet wants to see - two sensational fighters at the height of their power. It simply has to happen.

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