In what many consider to be a major mismatch, Liam Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) of Liverpool puts his WBO light-middleweight title up on Saturday against boxing superstar Canelo Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico, in what should be a pro-Alvarez crowd at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Alvarez, 26, has won five consecutive fights after losing a majority decision to Floyd Mayweather in September 2013. He is considered one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world and has looked particularly sharp in recent fights. Alvarez enters the bout as a -1200 favorite compared to Smith at +700.
The timing and the nationality of his opponent for this upcoming bout are interesting given what transpired last Saturday. Gennady "GGG" Golovkin, easily considered Alvarez's most prestigious potential opponent, defeated top English boxer Kell Brook, a welterweight champion who moved up to middleweight, by a fifth-round TKO at 02 Arena in London.
Now Alvarez will be fighting an even bigger underdog from England, and after he earned a convincing knockout victory over perhaps the most known English boxer, Amir Khan, in May.
Alvarez is likely seeking another conclusive win to match Golovkin's one-sided victory. There has been growing anticipation of Golovkin and Alvarez meeting in 2017, and a fight between the two stars would likely rival the excitement of 1980s bouts involving Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Thomas "Hitman" Hearns. Both Alvarez and Golovkin have fielded numerous questions about a possible fight between boxing most accomplished stars.
Smith, 28, has knocked out his last eight opponents, but Alvarez clearly represents his toughest challenge. The fight marks his third title defense after defeating little-known boxers Predrag Radozevic and Jimmy Kelly. He defeated American John Thompson in October to capture the vacant title.
Alvarez and Smith will fight at 154 pounds after fighting Khan at 155 pounds.
Manny Pacquiao set the boxing attendance record at AT&T Stadium at 41,843 when he defeated Joshua Clottey in March 2010.
What's At Stake: Smith's WBO light-middleweight title
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Place: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas
Tickets: Tickets range from $750 to $40 on Ticketmaster.