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Callum Smith’s trainer says Canelo must fight him in 2019 or forget it

Image: Callum Smith's trainer says Canelo must fight him in 2019 or forget it

By Charles Brun: Saul Canelo Alvarez needs to face Callum Smith in 2019 or he can forget about it, says Callum’s trainer/manager Joe Gallagher. He wants Canelo to take the fight with unbeaten WBA Super World super middleweight champion Smith (26-0, 19 KOs) this year or he can stop name dropping and forget about ever fighting him. Canelo brought up Callum’s name after he beat IBF middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs on May 4. However, Canelo also mentioned other fighters as well. Smith isn’t the only name the Mexican superstar has brought up.

Callum got his hopes up for nothing

It wasn’t just Smith’s name that Alvarez brought up. It looks like Callum got his hopes up when Canelo brought his name up. Instead of understanding that Canelo is a star that has numerous big fight options, Callum took it to heart, and focused a little too much on his false hopes.

Gallagher giving Canelo a now or never ultimatum for Callum could put him on the ignore list for the remainder of his career. That’s not a good move on Gallagher’s part, because 168 pound weight class is barren of big names. There’s nobody in the division that can bring Callum the huge money he’d make fighting a superstar like Canelo.

Canelo hasn’t been mentioning Callum’s name. The Mexican star’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions were briefly bringing up Callum’s name as a potential opponent for his his fight in September, but they’ve stopped including his name. Their focus is on WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev, WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade and WBO 154 pound champion Jaime Munguia. Former 160 pound champion Gennady Golovkin isn’t mentioned as a serious opponent for Canelo’s September 14 fight. Instead, GGG is said to be the likely option for Canelo in May 2020.

Gallagher says Canelo vs. Callum fight must happen in 2019

“I think the Canelo fight has to happen either now or December… I don’t disrespect him… But you can’t turn around and start mentioning names and then not take the fight up. So it’s time to put up or shut up,” said Gallagher to “If you want to fight Callum Smith, then make an offer. If you don’t, then forget about it and it will never happen and we’ll move on.”

Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy are currently trying to put together a fight against Kovalev for September. If that fight doesn’t get made, Canelo will likely face WBO champion Andrade next. The Kovalev fight would be pushed to December. 2019 isn’t a good time for Canelo to face Smith, because the Mexican star wants to win world titles. Smith holds the WBA Super 168 pound title, but Canelo has already won the WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight belt. It’s not much of an upgrade for Canelo (52-1-2, 35 KOs) to scrap with Smith for the upper level WBA belt. It would be better for Canelo win to win the IBF, WBC or WBO super middleweight titles.

Canelo vs. Callum Smith likely won’t attract subscribers to DAZN

What Gallagher might not understand is the casual boxing fans in the U.S have never heard of Callum Smith. Some of the fans saw Callum’s dreadful mismatch against former WBA’ regular’ middleweight champion Hassan N’Dam last month on June 1 on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. on DAZN at Madison Square Garden in New York. However, the Smith vs. Ndam was such a horrible mismatch that it did nothing to increase Smith’s profile. It was a fight that largely invisible, and not talked about at all.

The Smith-N’Dam mismatch was similar to the poor fight Matchroom Boxing put on last Saturday night between former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker and Alex Leapai. That match-up was a terrible embarrassment of major proportions. Smith vs. N’Dam was a similar mismatch. For Canelo to gain anything from fighting Callum, the British fighter needs to raise his profile in the United States by fighting there more often, and against high quality opposition.

If Callum wants to make a name for himself in the U.S, he should convince his promoter Eddie Hearn to match him against one of these names:

  • Dmitry Bivol
  • David Benavidez
  • Artur Beterbiev
  • Oleksandr Gvozdyk
  • Marcus Browne


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