Let’s get one thing straight. Liam Smith is a huge underdog, mainly due to the fact he has not faced anyone anywhere near as talented as Canelo.
However, that doesn’t mean he can’t fight at that level. Against the fairly limited opposition he’s beaten, Smith has looked impressive. Let’s also not forget, he is the champion, not the Mexican.
His defence is solid, boxing behind a high guard. He’s on an eight fight stoppage streak, suggesting he is developing more strength and that he raises his game with the level of opponent.
Canelo, however, is rather brilliant. Naturally very strong, the Mexican is an excellent pressure fighter but he is also an incredibly smart counter-puncher. He showed against Cotto, one of the best fighters of his generation, that he isn’t just a banger.
Liam is strong and very difficult to dissuade, if he can maintain a fast pace then Alvarez may struggle. That is the key. Do to Canelo what Canelo wants to do to you, and ‘Beefy’ has the style and fitness to do it. This is not a pumped up light welter like Amir Khan. Liam is a natural 154lb fighter. Running out of gas will not be an issue.
Here’s how I see it. Smith will start fast and dominate the first 4 rounds. Canelo will find his feet and dominate the next 4 rounds. They will go to war between 9 and 12. I know he hasn’t faced a puncher like Canelo before but Liam has a rock solid chin so I can’t see him being stopped.