In front of a record-breaking crowd of 51,240 in Texas, the 26 year-old moved through the gears to score knockdowns in the seventh, eighth and ninth rounds until referee Luis Pabon waved the bout off.
The first four rounds all went the way of the challenger, although Smith was always working away and didn’t look out of place sharing the ring with a two-weight world title holder. Taking rounds five and six on the WBN scorecard, Smith began to fight his way back into the contest until a bruising right hand over the top in the seventh put Smith down for the first time.
Smith regrouped and seemed to be winning the eighth, but a massive shot to the solar plexus dropped him heavily and the writing was well and truly on the wall.
Looking weary in the ninth, it was just a matter of time, and one more crunching left handed body shot ensured Canelo would be a champion once again. To his credit, Smith tried to get up, but by then Pabon has seen enough and there was no way ‘Beefy’ was going to go on to claim victory – even if he’d made the count.
Canelo begins another reign as a divisional ruler at 154 pounds despite calls for him to move up to middleweight for a clash with Gennady Golovkin, whilst Smith has proved his world class credentials and can come again at the super-welterweight limit.