SAN ANTONIO – Eddie Hearn was taken aback by how easily Canelo Alvarez beat Callum Smith on Saturday night.
Hearn – whose company, Matchroom Boxing, promoted Alvarez and Smith for this event – considered Smith the best super middleweight in boxing before they fought at Alamodome. He anticipated a closer contest than Alvarez’s dominant, 12-round victory at Alamodome.
Judges Steve Morrow (117-111), Rafael Ramos (119-109) and Steve Weisfeld (119-109) all scored their fight for Mexico’s Alvarez by huge margins. Morrow scored three rounds for England’s Smith (27-1, 19 KOs), but Ramos and Weisfeld gave only one round apiece to the former WBA “super” 168-pound champion.
“I am surprised,” Hearn said during the post-fight press conference early Sunday morning. “And it just goes to show you how good he is, you know, and the levels of Canelo Alvarez. I mean, we’re all boxing fans here, and so is Callum Smith. So is Paul Smith and Stephen Smith and Liam Smith. And the amazing thing about both guys is when I went into Callum Smith’s changing room, they were talking about the fight and the attributes of Canelo Alvarez and the tactics and, you know.
“And then, when I went into Canelo Alvarez’s changing room, him and Eddy Reynoso were going through the fight. You know, they’re almost throwing punches, saying, ‘Yeah, I did this,’ and Callum said, ‘Yeah, he did this well.’ You know, and there is so much respect between fighters to Canelo Alvarez.”
Alvarez nullified the 6-feet-3 Smith’s seven-inch height advantage and 7½-inch edge in reach by out-jabbing an opponent with a good jab and getting inside to land power punches to Smith’s head and body. Smith (27-1, 19 KOs) was wary of Alvarez’s power throughout their bout, which often prevented him from fully committing to his punches when he attacked a shorter, stouter opponent who hasn’t lost in seven years (54-1-2, 36 KOs).
Hearn thinks the 30-year-old Alvarez’s superb performance cemented the four-division champion as the top fighter, pound-for-pound, in the sport. The respect Alvarez gained from Smith – whose older brother, Liam, lost by ninth-round knockout to Alvarez four years ago – and other boxers is all the proof Alvarez needs to stake that claim, according to Hearn.
“You only have to look on the Internet, and every fighter is saying he is the best, he is, pound-for-pound, number one,” Hearn said. “I think that his movement, his jab, his body punching, I mean, I don’t think Callum was badly hurt in the fight. He took a lot on his gloves and his arm. I mean, you saw his [left] arm. But it looked to me that he was incredibly heavy-handed, Canelo Alvarez, from where I was sitting.
“I mean, I was lucky enough to be in the coral [at ringside] tonight and, you know, and his movement – Callum said he’s so difficult to hit clean. You know, it doesn’t matter if it’s a jab or if it’s a left hook, he rides the punches so well, he’s always using his feet for pressure. And, you know, you saw the best 168-pounder in the world tonight, you know, lose pretty much every round to a guy who, you know, has come up [through] the divisions, from welterweight.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.