Canelo AlvarezCredit: Photograph by James Michelfelder & Therese SommersethThis Saturday, September 17th sees AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas host HBO PPV as Saul “Canelo” Alvarez takes on Liam Smith for Smith’s WBO world title at super welterweight. Right now, Alvarez is a major -1300 favorite over the undefeated (23-0-1) Smith, who is returning at +850. The over/under for the twelve round bout is set at 7 1/2 with the over paying -145 and the under at +125. Alvarez is the “A” side of this one no doubt. The Mexican superstar is likely the biggest draw in boxing nowadays, but what that will mean to HBO and the pay-per-view sales for this one is anybody’s guess. The live event is going to be in cavernous Cowboys Stadium and 30,000 to 40,000 people could be in the building. Alvarez’ last pay-per-view was his match with Amir Kan, and that # came in at about 650,000 buys. Though Smith is a solid fighter who will certainly travel some fans, he is not the draw that Khan is, and “Canelo” is basically selling this event alone. Golden Boy did not do him many favors as they have backed the main event with a luke warm undercard that features good talent in Diego De La Hoya and “Jojo” Diaz in feature fights against inferior opposition. Most of the pressure on Alvarez for this fight is self inflicted. He vacatd his middleweight title and is perceived to be avoiding a fight with middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin. His presentation of his side of the story has made him look bad, and a great many people were dissappointed when the relatively unknown Smith was named as his next opponent. Smith has been a fighting champion, having won his WBO belt last October when he stopped John Thompson (17-1) in the 7th round. He has already defended the belt twice, earning stoppage victories both times while fighting in England. None of those opponents and no one on his resume comes close to being on Alvarez’ level, and this is SMith’s first fight outside of the British Isles. Smith is a nice story, as he comes from a fighting family that sees three of his brothers all competing at a high level as well, and he is a hard working fighter who is certainly taking on the biggest challenge of his career for this one. Smith has nothing to lose in this fight, except for his world title. He s going to earn the biggest payday and gain the most exposure in his entire career this Saturday. Smith is a well schooled boxer who is sturdy and tough, but there are very few who expect him to win. He deserves credit in leaving England for this fight in search of advancing his career. For Alvarez, this match is just anothe rbout on his schedule as he looks to position himself for bigger paydays in 2017. Below are the two other lines from Saturday’s fights that are up at the books. Check back later in the week to see if more of the twelve round card is put up by the books. Featherweight 10 rounds – Andrew Cancio +700 Joseph Diaz -1500 Welterweight 10 rounds – Dario Ferman +2850 Eddie Gomez -9950


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