What Happens If Liam Smith Stuns The World?
By: Sean Crose
Most people don’t think it will happen and chances are you don’t either, but since nothing is guaranteed in boxing it’s worth asking what the implications might be if Liam Smith stuns the world on Saturday when he faces Canelo Alvarez in Texas. I know, I know, since avoiding Gennady Golovkin, Canelo has decided to take fights that are safe bets…at least that seems to be the consensus among a large number of fans. This is boxing, though, where surprises are forever in the air. In the ring, each fighter is only one shot away from defeat. That’s an indisputable fact.
So, accepting the fact that Canelo should by all expectations use his experience, strength, skill and perhaps size, to cruise to a win on Saturday night, let’s ask what happens if Smith, the current WBO super welterweight champ, stuns the world. First and foremost, Canelo’s reputation would take a serious hit. Giving up a middleweight belt in order to avoid Golovkin would seem like nothing in light of a Smith victory. This wouldn’t be Marquez knocking out Pacquiao. This would be more like Douglas-Tyson, where a man casual fans were unaware of stepped right up and took out a legit star.
Make no mistake about it, Canelo would no longer have to worry about Golovkin – fairly or not, no one would again think he ever stood a modicum of a chance. He’d also be at risk of losing a hard earned legacy. Opponents like Cotto, Mosley and Khan, all of who Canelo bested, would be brought up less than Smith, who few would have heard of before team Canelo supposedly picked him as an “easy opponent.” That would be too bad, of course, but people remember Napoleon for Waterloo more than any other battle. Human nature is human nature.
Still, it’s worth keeping in mind that Canelo would most certainly get a rematch. It’s also worth keeping in mind that Smith might be far better than many believe he is. Sure enough, it’s a safe bet that Canelo could start to pick up the pieces of his career sooner rather than later should he be shocked this weekend. It’s worth wondering, though, if he would ever again be seen as “the face of boxing,” as he reportedly is at the moment. One more quick thing: A Smith victory would further add to the banner era of British boxing the world is now witnessing. First Fury defeats Klitschko, then Smith defeats Canelo?
Great Britain indeed.