Eric Gomez says Canelo wants Callum Smith fight

By Boxing News - 05/05/2019 - Comments

Image: Eric Gomez says Canelo wants Callum Smith fight

By Charles Brun: Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez says Saul Canelo Alvarez has told him that he wants to face WBA Super World super middleweight champion Callum Smith in a fight that would take place at 168. Gomez says he’d like to have the Canelo vs. Smith fight take place at Wembley Stadium in London, England. The stadium seats 90,000 fans. For a fight between Canelo and Callum, it might sellout 50% of the stadium.

DAZN might not be too favorable at streaming a fight between Callum Smith and Canelo Alvarez at Wembley Stadium due to the time difference. The fight would be live in the early afternoon in the U.S, and that wouldn’t work with American boxing fan. Beyond that, the casual boxing in the States have never seen Callum Smith fight, and they wouldn’t be nearly as excited at Canelo fighting him as they would if he were to take on Gennady Golovkin in a third fight or Sergey Kovalev. Canelo vs. Callum would be an interesting fight for hardcore fans though. They would love this match-up, but it wouldn’t resonate with casual fans in the U.S in the same way as a fight between Canelo and Golovkin, Kovalev or Demetrius Andrade. Those are all bigger fights in terms of fan interest from American fans.

Gomez is hoping that Callum’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing can arrange to have the Canelo-Smith fight take place at Wembley. Not surprisingly, Hearn has responded favorably to a fight between Canelo and Smith, saying that he would “love” to make that fight. Canelo (52-1-2, 35 KOs) already holds the WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight title that he won last December in stopping champion Rocky Fielding in third round. Callum has the WBA upper level super middleweight, the belt that some feel is the true title. The WBA ‘regular’ strap is more of a junior level belt unfortunately.

Canelo likely care about all that. He just wants to be able to fight the guy that is considered to be the #1 fighter in the super middleweight division, and that’s Callum Smith, who recently won the World Boxing Super Series 168-pound tournament last September. Smith defeated George Groves in the WBSS final by stopping him in the seventh round. Smith hasn’t fought since then, but he’s scheduled to defend his WBA title on June 1st on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. on DAZN and Sky Box Office at Madison Square Garden in New York. This is great opportunity for Callum to be seen by the U.S boxing public, and to increase his popularity. If Canelo can fight Callum in September, it would be perfect timing with him coming off of a win on June 1.

“He’s in a great position right now. He’s the king right now,” Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez said about Canelo Alvarez. ”We’re going to do what we always do with Canelo. We’re going to get together, Oscar and I and Robert Diaz, and we’re going to get together with the team. We’re going to look at all the top guys. One of the fights that Canelo has told us he’d like to do is Callum Smith. Eddie [Hearn] knows some people at Wembley Stadium, so that would be a great event there. The sky’s the limit. He said it himself after the fight, that he wants to fight all the top fighters, whatever the fans want, whatever the biggest challenge is. If it’s the Golovkin fight, then we’re going to sit down and talk about that. He’s in a great position right now. Very few fighters get in that position,” Gomez said about Canelo. ”Anthony Joshua is in that position. They can pick and choose who they want to fight.”

Smith is from Liverpool. Despite having loads of fans in that area, he’s not hugely popular in the rest of the UK. Hearn would be taking a gamble by booking Wembley Stadium for a fight between Callum and Canelo, because it might not sellout. Unless Hearn wants to have Anthony Joshua fighting on the card, it not bring in enough fans for it to be worth staging at Wembley Stadium. You can’t blame Eric Gomez of Golden Boy Promotions for wanting to stage the Canelo vs. Smith fight at Wembley Stadium. He sees the huge crowds that Anthony Joshua and Carl Froch has brought in at Wembley, and he figures that Canelo vs. Smith will be able to do the same. He doesn’t realize that Callum isn’t a huge star as of yet, and he may never be. He’s one of the Smith brothers, and none of them have ever become huge stars.

Callum would be an ambitious selection by Canelo Alvarez. There would arguably be more risk involved for Canelo in fighting the unbeaten Smith than there would be in him taking on Gennady Golovkin in a trilogy fight in September. Smith, 6’3”, is tall, powerful, and huge body puncher. He’s got the tools to beat Canelo on the inside if he dares to brawl with him in close like he did against Golovkin last September.

”We’d love to make the Canelo fight with Callum Smith,” Callum’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing USA. ”That’s an opportunity for Canelo to move up to win the Ring Magazine Championship at 168 pounds, as well as 160 title he holds. So I think Canelo is in a great position. You’re going to see him on June the 1st at Madison Square Garden. We’ll announce that next week,” Hearn said about Callum Smith’s next fight.

Canelo is coming off of a big win last Saturday night in defeating IBF middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs (35-3, 29 KOs) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jacobs, 5’11 ½”, was a lot bigger than the 5’8” Canelo, but it didn’t matter. Canelo was able to make up for his lack of size with his power, hand speed, and his boxing ability. The fight was basically a middleweight [Canelo] fighting a super middleweight in Jacobs. After the fight, Jacobs said that he’s likely going to move up in weight to 168 to campaign as a super middleweight, because his body has outgrown the middleweight division after 12 years as a pro.