Boxing fans can watch the Canelo Alvarez vs. Liam Smith bout live online and see if the Mexican slugger can move one step closer to a highly-anticipated showdown with Gennady Golovkin, or if the plucky, but largely unknown British boxer throws a wrench in the plans.
Alvarez had originally been slated to take on Golovkin in September, with the mega-fight supposedly on the docket after Alvarez defeated Amir Khan back in May. But as The Sporting News noted, the middleweight is taking a bit more time to get adjusted to fighting at 160 pounds, and will instead face Liam Smith in a fight scheduled for Saturday night.
The main event for the bout starts at 9 p.m. ET, with Alvarez and Smith expected to step into the ring sometime around 11:30 p.m. ET. The bout will be available on HBO pay-per-view on television, but also streaming live for those unable to make it to a TV (a link to the streaming video can be found below).
As The Sporting News added, it seems a bit off to fill in Smith instead of the undefeated Golovkin. Smith is largely unknown outside of England, the report said, and would be scoring an absolutely major upset if he were to some how defeat Alvarez.
“Instead of taking a fight at 160 pounds or something close to it, Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) is dropping to a class to challenge Liam Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) for the WBO junior middleweight title from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“Alvarez, 26, fought at 154 pounds in the past, but lost the WBA (Unified), WBC, and The Ring titles to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013.”
In fact, most analysts don’t see Liam Smith as having much of a chance against Canelo Alvarez. ESPN boxing expert Teddy Atlas believes Smith won’t even be able to go the distance.
“Canelo stops Smith in about 6 rounds,” Atlas wrote. “Smith is going from the wading pool to the ocean as far as level of opposition and he may not drown but I believe he will be sunk by body punches.”
Fellow analyst Wallace Matthews predicted what most boxing insiders believe — that Liam Smith is just a stepping stone to Gennady Golovkin.
“This is just a stay-busy fight for Canelo as he prepares — hopefully — to meet Gennady Golovkin next year,” he wrote. “Don’t expect him to take too many chances, but don’t expect him to blow it either.”
But the fight is not entirely without hope for the British boxer. Forbes writer Josh Katzowitz believes that fans who watch the Canelo Alvarez vs. Liam Smith bout live online could potentially see a giant upset. He noted that Alvarez could struggle at his weight, as he hasn’t been down to 154 since his 2013 loss to Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Katzowitz speculated that Alvarez may have taken a toll on his body to get down to that weight, and Smith also believes he will have an advantage by fighting at a weigh where he’s been more comfortable.
“Canelo isn’t a full light-middleweight like I am,” Smith said, via the Mirror, “and that’s to my advantage.”
If Alvarez can take care of business on Saturday, the path to Golovkin may be cleared. The undefeated Kazakh fighter — who actually has never been knocked to the canvas in hundreds of professional bouts — defeated Kell Brook in a bout exactly one week ago.
Saturday’s Main Event and Undercard (via Sporting News)
— Liam Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) vs. Canelo Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs), 12 rounds, for Smith’s WBO junior middleweight title
— Gabriel Rosado (23-9, 13 KOs) vs. Willie Monroe, Jr. (20-2, 6 KOs); middleweights
— Joseph Diaz, Jr. (21-0, 12 KOs) vs. Andrew Cancio (17-3-2, 13 KOs); featherweights
— Diego De La Hoya (15-0, 9 KOs) vs. Luis Orlando Del Valle (22-2, 16 KOs); junior featherweights
[Featured Image by LM Otero/AP Images]