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Canelo vs Smith prediction: Blistering forecast contradicts odds

Joseph Herron Updated
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This evening, September 17, from AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, reigning Ring Magazine Middleweight champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) will compete at 154 pounds for the first time in three years and challenge current WBO Super Welterweight titlist Liam "Beefy" Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) in the main event of a mammoth twelve-bout fight card, presented by Golden Boy Promotions.

The featured presentation, Canelo vs Smith, including three preliminary fights, can be purchased and viewed streaming online through http://www.goldenboyppv.com/ for a one time fee of $64.99, with Hall of Fame commentators Colonel Bob Sheridan and Larry Merchant calling the action for the Golden Boy Promotions feed.

The HBO PPV distribution, with commentators Jim Lampley, Roy Jones and Max Kellerman calling the action, can be purchased through your preferred cable and satellite provider with a start time of 9PM ET/6PM PT.

Bonus coverage, consisting of eight, off-TV preliminary fights, featuring GBP prospects Eddie Gomez, Sadam Ali, Hector Tanajara Jr. and Joshua Franco, can be viewed by visiting RingTvLive.com, starting at 3:20PM ET/12:20PM PT.

Leading into the scheduled twelve round main event, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez is currently listed as a 12 to 1 (-1225) betting favorite on most Race and Sports Books, while current champ Liam Smith is registered as an almost 9 to 1 (+875) betting underdog.

Will the actual fight reflect the huge disparity in odds?

Canelo vs Smith projections and preliminary observations
Most ringside observers believe the Mexican superstar is currently competing on a different level than the incumbent title holder. Although Liam is the reigning champ going into the fight, Canelo seems to possess the faster hands, the bigger power, the higher ring intelligence, the sharper technique and the greater level of experience.

Will the experts be proven correct in their collective assessment of this evening's match-up, or will underdog and current WBO title holder Liam Smith pull off what would largely be considered a massive upset?

Anything can and often does happen in the squared circle, so let's review the "Keys to Victory" for Canelo vs Smith.

Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) - Considered the sharper, more devastating and intelligent puncher, Canelo's primary key to victory is to punish his opponent with explosive counters early and often. Because Alvarez has the much faster hands and quicker reflexes, he has to send a major statement to the confident, undefeated champion within the first few rounds of the scheduled twelve round fight to be effective.

As soon as Liam comes forward and opens up, the 26 year old phenom must make his presence felt and make the champ pay with hard, stinging counters, turning the customary high-volume puncher into a more tentative fighter. Look for the roll counter, right uppercut on the inside, or counter left hook while Smith is throwing in range.

When Canelo touches the champ effectively, he should follow up with creative combinations to the body and head.

Because Alvarez combines speed with power when he throws explosive punches, he sacrifices punch volume and consequently gives the impression that he's lazy. He can't afford to have lapses in work rate against a physically and mentally durable champion like Liam Smith.

Liam Smith highlights

If he doesn't work with a more consistent work rate than he's shown in the past, Canelo could lose close, competitive rounds on the judges' scorecards by activity alone.

But with a very underrated roll-counter defense, and the more explosive, accurate combination punching, Canelo should have the clear advantage in tonight's match-up.

If Canelo Alvarez can effectively counter the current champ with explosive punches every time Liam decides to open up, and work behind a more consistent work rate, the Mexican born phenom should walk away with a decisive points victory and possibly a mid to late rounds stoppage!!

Liam "Beefy" Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) - A consistent and high work rate is the primary Key to Victory for the reigning WBO title holder.

Winner of his last eight fights by way of knock-out, the Liverpool, Merseyside, UK native is a very underrated, fundamentally sound fighter who is capable of boxing proficiently from mid to long range. But to be victorious this evening against the razor sharp, explosive counter puncher, Liam will have to put on his hard-hat and get to work.

Canelo vs Smith video promo

Although the rugged Briton is customarily a slow starter who likes to methodically break his opponents down over the course of an entire twelve round marathon, Smith can't expect to fight at a measured pace against Canelo Alvarez tonight and win a decision. 

He has to adopt a more aggressive mindset and put consistent, physical but intelligent pressure on the Mexican sharp-shooter to be victorious.

Liam has to be prepared to work throughout every minute of every round to win. Because Canelo fights in spurts during a three minute stanza, the 28 year old champion has to try and outwork the heavily favored "Hometown" fighter. But to keep from getting caught on the inside, like James Kirkland last May, Liam will have to apply intelligent pressure and work behind his jab, while using his footwork to move in and out of range. When Smith does work his way inside, he has to work in the pocket, throwing combinations to the body and head.

But as soon as the British champ is finished throwing a combination, he absolutely must cover up behind a high, tight guard, or risk getting caught with a sharp counter. If Liam leaves himself open after throwing a combination, Canelo will counter him effectively with a sharp left hook or roll counter uppercut.

And when Canelo takes breaks and starts using his deceptively quick, roll-counter defense, in which he intelligently moves his upper body and head with fluidity, Smith must remember to attack the body. Forget about trying to hit the moving target, aim for the body and the head will follow.

If the ambitious young champion can press the action and outwork Canelo, while applying intelligent pressure, establishing the jab and using his footwork to move in and out of range effectively, Liam Smith can pull off the upset in front of a hostile, pro-Alvarez crowd at AT&T Stadium in Texas!!

Canelo vs Smith prediction: Because Liam Smith is a much better fighter than most currently recognize, tonight's contest will prove to be a very competitive fight. Expect the champion to fight at a much more measured pace than most anticipate. He will intelligently apply pressure, working behind his jab and using his feet to move in and out of range.

But because Liam will implement a more intelligent fight strategy, Canelo will win the great majority of the close, competitive rounds, throwing the more eye-catching punches to the body and head.

Look for Canelo to win a competitive but unanimous decision this evening in Arlington, Texas.  Canelo Alvarez UD12 over Liam Smith

Share your Canelo vs Smith predictions.

Canelo vs Kirland video highlights: A prognosis for tonight?


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