Cloutier’s Canada Corner
Smith Jr. Stops Alvarez In The Ninth Round
By Daniel Cloutier
Photos: Mikey Williams - Top Rank
MONTRÉAL — The Montréal Colombian Eleider Alvarez
promised to his fans to win this WBO light heavyweight
(175 pounds) elimination against the New Yorker Joe
Smith Jr.,(25-4-0)…. and he was wrong. Intense and
aggressive, Smith won the fight by TKO in the ninth
round Saturday evening in the ring of the MGM Grand
Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas. The fight was stopped after
26 seconds of action in the ninth round, after that
Alvarez went to the floor.
“I knew that I got the weapons necessaries to win this
fight,” said Smith. “I attacked intensively in each
round and look at the result,. I am ready to fight for a
WBO world championship fight.”
Smith will fight for the WBO 175 pounds world
championship against the winner of the eventual
elimination between the first and second contenders, the
Russians Umar Salamov (25-1-0) and Maxim Viasov
(45-3-0). The winner of the bout Salomov-Viasov will be
obliged to fight Smith for the WBO light heavyweight
championship of the world.
In the first round, Smith attacked furiously, but
Alvarez replied with several power shots.
The second and third rounds were close, each fighter
having his good moments offensively.
In the fourth round, Smith was productive in the first
half of the round, but Alvarez was good in the second
In the fifth round, Smith attacked intensively, and
Alvarez finished the round with a bloody face.
The sixth round was intense and close, each fighter
Smith attacked furiously in the seventh round, and
Alvarez replied with a couple of power shots.
The eight round was close and violent. The two fighters
connected a lot a power shots.
Smith provoked the first knockdown of the fight in the
ninth round, and few seconds after, the referee
intervened to declare Alvarez TKO’d.
In the opening bout of the evening, the super
welterweight (154 pounds) Wendy Toussaint, from
Australia, beat the American Isaha Jones (9-2-0) by
unanimous éécision in six rounds.
In the second bout of the evening, the American
lightweight (135 pounds) Israel Mercado (8-0-0), from
Pomona, California, beat his countryman Adrian Valdonos
(5-1-0), from California, by unanimous decision in six
The flyweight (119 pounds) Robert Rodriguez (11-0-1),
from Riverside, California, won by TKO in the first
round against Abel Soriano (10-1-0), from Nebraska. by
TKO in the first round. Rodriguez provoked three
knockdowns in less than two minutes in the opening
The featherweight (126 pounds) Duke Ragan, from
Cincinnati, started his pro boxing on a spectacular
note, winning by KO in the first round against Luis
Alvaro (1-2-0), from Pasco, Washington.
The middleweight Clay Collard (9-2-3), from Oklahoma
City, provoked a knockdown in the first round, and he
won by TKO in the second round against Maurioce Williams
(7-2-0). Collard hurt again Willians in the second
round, and the referee intervened to declare a TKO.
The super lightweight (140 pounds) Julian Rodriguez
(20-0-0), from New Jersey, provoked three knockdowns in
the first round, and he won by TKO (2.51 minutes)
against Anthony Laureano (13-1-0), from Connecticut.
In the last preliminary bout of the evening, the
middleweight Rob Brant (26-2-0), from Dallas, Texas, won
by TKO over the Ukrainian Vitali Kopilenko (28-3-0) at
the end of the fifth round. The referee stopped the
bout, because the Kopylenko left eye was completely