Date: 19th September 2016 at 12:52pm
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Over in Fort Worth, Dallas, Texas, in the early hours of Sunday morning (UK time), Liam Smith put in a gallant effort to beat Saul ?Canelo? Alvarez to hang on to his world title.

Sadly, the more accurate and telling punching of the Mexican fighter saw Smith stopped, by a huge body-shot, in the seventh round.

However, in the aftermath of the first defeat of his career, it seems that Smith?s preparations were hampered by a cut he?d picked up which prevented the fighter from sparring.

Talking about the handicap, Smith remarked to the media,

?I did 18 rounds of sparring for the whole camp against the biggest name in the sport. That?s ideal for nobody.

?I?m not making excuses, he beat me and he beat me well. But I would have loved to have been on my game with a full camp of sparring. I am gutted.?

Smith didn?t disgrace himself and already there is talk of an all-British super fight, at light-middleweight, with Kell Brook, prompting Smith to add,

?I have just fought Canelo Alvarez so I?m not going to say no to fighting Kell Brook.?

But, returning to the lack of sparring handicap, Smith?s trainer Joe Gallagher added,

?Liam has proved himself at this level. Canelo had to work hard.

?He was cute up close, gave no gaps away but Liam hadn?t sparred for five weeks. You can?t go into a Champions League final having only done keepie-uppies in training.?

But perhaps the big question should relate to the possibility of the fight date being changed if Smith?s preparations were hampered so much!