How To Bet Liam Smith vs. Saul Alvarez - Can British Champ Upset Canelo?

Liam Smith during a press conference pretending to hit the camera

Swinging Johnson

Friday, September 16, 2016 6:13 PM GMT

Friday, Sep. 16, 2016 6:13 PM GMT

British sensation and WBO Light-Middleweight champion Liam Smith will defend his title against Mexican phenom Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in Arlington, Texas this Saturday night. Let’s review the boxing odds and fatten our wallets.

Tale of the Tape

Stats

Saul Alvarez

Liam Smith

Record:

47-1-1, 33 KOs

23-0-1, 13 KOs

Height:

5'9"

5'9.5"

Reach:

70.5"

Unlisted

Weight:

154 lbs

154 lbs

Age:

26

28

Stance:

Orthodox

Orthodox

Hometown:

Guadalajara, Jalisco

Liverpool, Merseyside

Rounds:

332

126

 

 

The Champion Stepping Up
The lad from Liverpool Liam Smith is the reigning WBO Light-Middleweight champ but he will be the decided underdog in this scrap as he takes on one of the boxing’s biggest stars Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Smith has made his bones of the flesh of lesser fighters and claimed the vacant WBO title by defeating the American John Thompson almost a year ago. Since then he has been an active champ, defending his crown against Jimmy Kelly (KO -7) and then in June with a quick TKO of Predrag Radoševic via a second-round TKO. He has never fought outside of England and Wales which means he will have to make the trek to Arlington, Texas and fight in an arena with what should be a partisan Alvarez crowd. He has also never fought anyone of the caliber of opponent he will lock horns with on Saturday night.

Let’s not take anything away from Smith. He is a fundamentally sound fighter who defends well and uses blazing combinations with either hand to break down his opponent. He is not strictly a head hunter as he will explore multiple levels to try and expose Alvarez. Yet, even though he is two years Alvarez’s senior he has not had nearly the rounds in the ring nor faced the same elite competition as Canelo.

 

Betting Analysis
The boxing oddsmakers are clearly not impressed with Liam Smith. They are installing Alvarez, a natural middleweight, as north of a -1000 favorite at William Hill. The conventional wisdom is that Smith will be out of his depth against one of the most elite fighters on the planet. He will have no answer for Alvarez’s tremendous counterpunching ability nor will he win a stand-and-trade war. The pundits will also insist that Smith does not have the defensive skills to slip punches and utilize his own counterpunching skills to vanquish the elite Mexican fighter.

It is hard to take issue with any of those points but the contrarian in me, and the value bettor that I am notices one important difference between the kind of fighter that has given Smith some issues in the past versus what Alvarez brings to the table. That issue has reached advantage. Alvarez is not the tall glass of water that 6’0” John Thompson is who fell to Smith in the seventh round of their championship fight for the vacant WBO 154 pound crown. Before you curse, note that I am not equating John Thompson with Canelo Alvarez. I am merely pointing out that both fighters are 5’9” tall and reach will not play a role in this one.

Saul Alvarez should win this fight and Smith will be a distant memory if Alvarez decides to reside in the junior middleweight division. However, Smith has the chops to do damage with stinging combinations and an elegant approach to moving from body shots to hooks to the head. He must be relentless in his pursuit of Alvarez and get in tight to avoid those vicious counterpunches from Canelo. Liam Smith has finished his last eight opponents dating back to December of 2013. No, none have been of the Canelo Alvarez variety but this could be an upset in the making and the huge return is calling us to include Liam Smith in our boxing picks this Saturday night.

 

Free Boxing Pick: Liam Smith +1050
Best Line Offered: at Heritage where you can get a 50% Cash Bonus

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