By Edward Chaykovsky, photo by Tom Hogan
Former two-division world champion Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) expects a very historic event when he faces WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion Liam "Beefy" Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) on Mexican Independence Day Weekend on September 17 at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, in Arlington, Texas.
Canelo steps back to the junior middleweight division to chase another title. He previously captured the WBA and WBC world titles at 154-pounds.
"Fighting on this weekend is powerful because it tells the story of Mexicans all over, making a win even more important. This fight is going to be historic; from the venue, the title, to the fans who are going to show up - I take all of this into consideration as I train hard for this match," Canelo said.
Smith, who comes from a fighting family, is traveling over from the UK to upset the odds. His three fighting brothers include Callum Smith, Stephen Smith and Paul Smith.
"Just because Smith isn't very well known in the U.S. doesn't diminish how tough he is as an opponent. We expect him to be very powerful, and we are training for that," Canelo said.
Eddy Reynoso, the trainer of Canelo, is also expecting a very tough contest when they collide with Smith. Based on what Reynoso says they are working on, they are going to allow Smith to take the lead and come to them, and they will be looking to counter him.
"People can have their opinions on the fight. We are training for a world title fight, which is worth respecting. We are doing the work and training hard. Winning this fight is the focus and everything else will come," Reynoso said.
"We are working especially hard on defense. We are going to be working the counterpunches, and being able to counteract anything that Smith brings to the ring."