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De La Hoya says Canelo vs. Callum Smith a possibility for May

Canelo Alvarez Oscar De La Hoya

By Sean Jones: Oscar De La Hoya is excited about Saul Canelo Alvarez’s recent monumental deal that he signed with DAZN this week, and he says Matchroom Boxing USA/DAZN fighter Callum Smith (25-0, 18 KOs) is now an option for him to fight in May of 2019.

It’ll be a minor accomplishment for Canelo if he defeats the much bigger 6’2″ Rocky Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs) on December 15. Callum Smith is a different story. Things might fall apart for Canelo if he tries to go a step too far by taking on Smith.

If Canelo does fight Callum, he might be able to drain him with a 10 lb rehyration clause like what he has for his fight against Fielding. The two fighters can’t weight more than 178 lbs on the morning of the fight. That move is going to make it hard for Fielding to win the fight because he won’t be able to fully rehydrate until after the secondary weigh-in. A similar 10 lb weight class might be too much for Callum to handle. I’d hate to think that Canelo would ask for a 5 to 8 pound weight clause for a fight against Smith, but you can’t rule it out. When someone wants a handicap and they’re the A-side, they can ask and receive almost anything. It’s endless the advantages a fighter can ask for if they’re not confident of victory.

De La Hoya also says Jermall Charlo is a possibility for Canelo when he returns to the middleweight division. Fans from the UK would like the idea of Canelo fighting Smith, as he’s becoming a popular fighter at this point in his career after winning the WBSS tournament last month.

Canelo, 28, has been taking criticism for not selecting Callum to fight for his December 15th fight, because he’s considered the top guy in the 168 lb division following his 7th round knockout victory over WBA Super World super middleweight champion George Grove last month on September 28 in the World Boxing Super Series tournament.

The fans don’t expect Canelo to stick around at super middleweight after his fight against Fielding in December. The fans see Canelo knocking out the lanky Fielding much in the same way Smith did in stopping him in the 1st round in 2015. The boxing fans are predicting Canelo will scurry away from the 168 lb weight class as fast as his short legs can carry him in order not to have to fight Callum Smith.

De La Hoya likes the idea of collaborating with Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn in putting fights together between the two promotional companies. Canelo (50-1-2, 34 KOs) is fighting Hearn/Matchroom fighter WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs) on December 15 on DAZN at Madison Square Garden in New York. This is the first of what could be many joint promotion fights between Golden Boy and Matchroom.

”If Eddie Hearn has whatever champions out there, for instance, the fighter that won the World Boxing Super Series,” De La Hoya said in expressing interest in matching Canelo against Callum Smith. “Yes, if Canelo wins the WBA title, why not make him and Callum Smith or why not make Charlo and Canelo on DAZN? We have the deep pockets,” De La Hoya said.

It’s almost impossible to believe that De La Hoya and Canelo would willingly fight a knockout artist like Jermall Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) without the fight being forced on him by the World Boxing Council with them ordering the fight. Smith, 28, is the same type of knockout threat that Charlo is.

Callum Smith is a really bad choice for Canelo. Smith, 6’3″, is so much bigger than the 5’8″ Canelo, and he punches downward really well. Smith’s left hook is a devastating weapon, and he’s capable of firing the short from a long ways away from shorter fighters. All it would take is one big left hook from Smith on the button, and he’d have Canelo in trouble. The problem that Canelo has is he’s coming off of a punishing fight against Gennady Golovkin in which he was hurt twice by big shots from him in the later rounds. Fielding will do soften Canelo up further when they fight each other in December. I think Canelo will probably do enough to win a decision in that fight, but not before Fielding lands a lot of heavy shots in the fight. If Canelo actually goes through with the idea of fighting Callum in May 2019, he’s going to be worn out from his fights against Fielding and Golovkin, and not able to take 12 rounds of pounding from Smith.

Smith is a good fighter on the inside and the outside. Canelo had an advantage over the 36-year-old Golovkin on the inside, but he was totally over-matched when GGG had him on the outside. In Smith’s case, he fights on the inside as good anybody in boxing, and he’s got incredible punching power. Canelo has the better boxing skills, but he doesn’t have the size, power or the length of Smith. Canelo could do well against Smith for six or seven rounds, but all it takes is one big shot from the Liverpool fighter and it’s all over. We saw that in Smith’s fight against Groves last September. Groves was getting the better of Smith for the first six rounds, but things changed immediately after Smith caught him with a left hook in round 7. Smith finished Groves off with a blizzard of shots after he hurt him.

De La Hoya doesn’t speak for Canelo in terms of the opponents that he faces. Canelo is the one who makes his mind up whether to fight someone or not. Since it’s not Canelo talking up a fight against Charlo or Callum Smith, you have to take what De La Hoya says with a grain of salt. De La Hoya is name dropping obviously to get attention for Canelo in the boxing world, and to make the fans think that he’s not afraid of Smith and Charlo, which unfortunately they pretty much believe. Canelo choosing to move up to 168 to fight arguably the weakest of the champions in that division in Fielding instead of taking care of his WBC mandatory Jermall is viewed as a fear-based move on the Mexican star’s part. Further, Canelo fighting Fielding instead of Callum at 168 reeks of someone who doesn’t believe himself capable of beating the best in the 168 lb weight class.

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