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  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 half.

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 attacked intensively.

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.

Undercard Results

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 rounds.

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 round.

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 closed.


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