It’s official: Canelo Alvarez will square off against Liam Smith on the evening of Saturday, September 17 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The showdown will feature the current Light Middleweight champ and the current Middleweight champ, and it is for all intents and purposes of the single biggest bout in the boxing world in 2016. Here are three reasons to be legitimately excited about this mid-September fight.
Biggest Indoor Boxing Venue in America
When AT&T Stadium opened in 2009, it immediately became one of the single largest and most impressive indoor entertainment structures in the world. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones spared no expense while constructing the building over the course of four years and about $1.4 billion. His vision that it would host major boxing matches is beginning to finally come into focus.
The 26-year-old Alvarez has quickly become acclimated to fighting in front of large crowds since making the transition from exclusively fighting in Mexico to exclusively fighting in the biggest venues in North America. Surprisingly, AT&T Stadium has not hosted a boxing event in a full five years. They will break this dry streak on the evening of September 17 when two champions clash in front of a packed palace.
— GoldenBoyPromotions (@GoldenBoyBoxing) July 20, 2016
73 Fights – Just 1 Loss
Mexican-born Alvarez will come into the fight with a record of 47-1-1. English-born Liam Smith will come into the bout with a record of 23-0-1. This is a combined 73 fights with just one loss between the two talented and entertaining fighters just entering the prime of their athletic careers.
Obviously, what happens in the ring on the floor at AT&T Stadium is going to go a long way toward determining the immediate path of both boxers. Alvarez is currently on top of the Middleweight world after a convincing knockout over Amir Khan back in May.
Alvarez’s only loss came at the hands of Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2013 after Mayweather danced around and out-pointed the man they call Canelo – who was hoping to turn things into much more of a slugfest. Experts don’t expect Alvarez and Smith to dance around too much before engaging in serious combat. 13 of Smith’s 23 wins have come by way of knockout, and Alvarez has stopped 33 of his 49 total fights early by way of smashing his fist in the face of his opponent. Simply put, each fighter is going to show up anxious to earn their paycheck.
Mexico versus England
One of the many things that makes professional sports so wonderful is that you can have cultural battles without anybody throwing rocks, lighting fuses or brandishing knives. This is clearly a fight that will pit the best that Mexico has to offer versus the best that England currently has to offer, and these are two well-established and proud boxing nations.
It stands to reason that a good portion of fans in attendance at AT&T Stadium on September 17 will have crossed the border from Mexico or crossed the Atlantic from the Land of the Queen. The fight will be staged on “neutral” ground in Texas, and like many things in The Lone Star State, it is going to be huge.