Callum Smith wants Canelo Alvarez fight in Las Vegas
By Sean Jones: Callum Smith says he’s very interested in facing superstar Saul Canelo Alvarez now that he’s decided to move up to super middleweight to take on WBA ‘regular’ 168 lb champion Rocky Fielding on December 15.
Callum Smith is considered the #1 fighter at super middleweight, and more importantly, he’s signed on with DAZN due to him being one of Matchroom Boxing promotions. There’s absolutely nothing blocking Canelo being able to fight Smith. If Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions don’t want any part of Callum Smith, you can draw the conclusion that he’s all wrong for him, because he’s a murderous puncher and can actually fight. Smith did away with Fielding three years ago in knocking him out in the 1st round in 2015. You can’t blame Fielding’s loss to Smith on him being young, considering that he was 28-years-old at the time of the fight. Smith was only 25, and he beat a guy that was older than him.
Smith, 28, says he wants to fight Canelo (50-1-2, 34 KOs), which is where the Mexican fighter has proven to be almost unbeatable lately despite appearing to lose his two fights fights against Gennady Golovkin and his match Erislandy Lara. The 6’3″ Smith would be betting on his huge punching power to take the Nevada judges out of the equation so that he doesn’t end up like GGG and Lara in losing a controversial decision while fighting in Las Vegas.
Unfortunately for Smith, Canelo’s fight against Fielding, 31, is likely going to be a one and done situation instead of a permanent move up to super middleweight. This is more of a situation where Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions saw a vulnerable champion at super middleweight in Fielding, so they went after him in a shark-like way.
“If he stays at super middle, then I’ll definitely be putting my name in the hat for his next fight at the weight,” Smith said to skysports.com. “He’s a special fighter, but I don’t believe he’s the biggest at super middle, and I think that gives any super middleweight a slight advantage over him, what they probably lack in ability up against him. But if he stays there, then definitely I would love to fight him,” Smith said.
Smith is just one of many super middleweights that are hoping the 5’8″ Canelo stays at 168 on a permanent basis, because they see him as guy they can make good money fighting. More so, the super middleweights have the size and punching power to give Canelo problems in the same way Golovkin did. Golovkin, 5’10 1/2″, is small compared to the giants in the super middleweight division like the 6’3″ Callum, 6’2″ David Benavidez, 6’2 1/2″ Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez and 6’1″ Jose Uzcategui. Those guys are the world champions at 168, and each of them has excellent punching power that is close enough the kind of power that Triple G possesses for them to be a nightmare for the stocky 5’8″ Canelo. If Canelo tries to back those fighters up like he did against GGG last September, he may be in for a real surprise, because those guys won’t give ground. Canelo would need to take them the full 12 round distance and hope that he can win another decision.
Smith’s situation is a little better than Ramirez, Uzcategui and Benavidez in trying to get a fight against Canelo, because he’s with DAZN. Canelo signed a 5-year, 11-fight, $365 million deal with DAZN last week. Canelo has a lot of fights that he needs to get out of the way in his five-year deal with DAZN, and there’s not enough top middleweights for him to face to get the maximum benefit of his career. These are Canelo’s best fights at 160 right now: Golovkin trilogy, Daniel Jacobs, David Lemieux, Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Billy Joe Saunders, Demetrius Andrade, Rob Brant and Jermall Charlo.
There’s eight potential guys at 160 for Canelo to fight that would interest the boxing public. You have to assume that Golden Boy won’t take the risk of putting Canelo in with Jermall, Andrade or Saunders. So, we’re really talking about only five guys for Canelo to fight at middleweight in the next five years. If Jarrett Hurd and Jermell Charlo move up to middleweight, then they’ll be potential opponents for Canelo to face or avoid. I think Canelo would duck both of them, but it would be nice to see him prove me wrong for a change. If Canelo does fight Hurd and Jermell, he would increase his total of top middleweights available for him to fight to seven. As such, there’s going to be a real need for Canelo to move up to super middleweight to take on some of the world champions in that weight class, but it won’t be easy in the future because there aren’t anymore Rocky Fielding weak-links at super middleweight. If Canelo wants to win another world title at super middleweight, he’s going to need to fight a talented guy, and it’s unclear whether he can beat those types of fighters due to his small size.
“Fighting Canelo Alvarez in Vegas is another thing that I would like to tick off. I would be happy to go for the big fights now,” Smith said.
I think it’s safe to say that Canelo will never agree to fight a guy like Callum Smith due to his huge power, great inside game and his size. Smith could beat Canelo in a number of ways that wouldn’t let the Nevada judges have a say so in the final outcome. If Canelo wanted to impress the boxing public with his courage, he would remain at super middleweight long enough to take on Callum in his next fight after he faces Fielding. It’s a bad look on Canelo’s part that he selected Fielding to fight instead of Callum, David Benavidez, Gilberto Ramirez or Jose Uzcategui. Canelo would get loads of respect from the fans if he took on Smith, because that would be an old school type of move. But unfortunately, Canelo seems to have the mindset of this era, which often sees fighters wait out their opponents until they’re old before fighting them. Canelo had a reputation as a ducker even when he fought at 154. Canelo never fought Jarrett Hurd, Jermell Charlo, Demetrius Andrade and Jermall Charlo. When Canelo did fight a good fighter in Lara at junior middleweight, he was given a controversial 12 round split decision, and he never gave him a rematch to try and show the boxing public that he deserved the win.
The World Boxing Council will likely allow Canelo to keep his WBC middleweight title without ordering him to face his mandatory challenger Jermall Charlo or stripping him for fighting consecutive matches at 168.
Smith won the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight tournament last month in stopping WBA Super World 168 lb champion George Groves in the 7th round on September 28 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Groves was able to take Smith’s huge power shots for the first six rounds, but in the 7th, he got caught with a big left hook from him. Smith then finished off the badly hurt Groves with a storm of shots. Smith had already hurt Groves on several occasions leading up to the 7th round. Canelo can take a pretty good punch, but his ability to take body shots is suspect. Golovkin hurt Canelo with head shots in the 10th and 11th rounds in their rematch last September.