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Callum Smith WARNS Canelo: You must beat me to become No.1 at 168

Image: Callum Smith WARNS Canelo: You must beat me to become No.1 at 168

By Charles Brun: Callum Smith says Canelo Alvarez will need to beat him in order to become the #1 fighter at super middleweight. Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) is expected to return to the 168-lb division following his 11th round knockout win over WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey ‘Krusher’ Kovalev last Saturday in Las Vegas.

Callum is just as big as Kovalev, but stronger and in his prime. Unlike Kovalev, Callum doesn’t have a stamina or a chin problem.

Callum (26-0, 19 KOs) is viewed as the best fighter in the super middleweight division by many fans. Last year in September, Smith won the World Boxing Super Series tournament in stopping George Groves in the 7th round in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Callum overpowered a very good fighter in Groves.

Although the 29-year-old Canelo hasn’t yet revealed what his plans are for his next fight in May 2020, he’s expected to return to the 168-lb division where holds the WBA secondary super middleweight belt that he won on December 15, 2018 in stopping champion Rocky Fielding (27-2, 15 KOs) in the third round at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Callum unlikely to get fight against Canelo

If Canelo does return to super middleweight, he’s not expected to tangle with Callum Smith. That’s a bad match-up for the 5’8″ Canelo due to the size, power and skills of the 6’3″ Callum. The fact that Canelo chose to fight WBA secondary 168-lb champion Rocky Fielding rather than Callum last December showed clearly the respect that he has for him.

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A third fight between Canelo and former IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin is a strong option for the Mexican star. DAZN wants that fight, and decent amount of boxing fans would be interested in seeing them again. Golovkin would probably need to move up to 168 for the third fight with Canelo to happen. That shouldn’t be a problem, because GGG fought Steve Rolls at a catch-weight of 164 pounds last June, and he stopped him. Callum would be a great fight for Canelo, but he’s got better options against Golovkin or Billy Joe Saunders. Those are guys that Canelo would have a better chance of beating than Callum.

Canelo will have to beat me at 168 to become #1 says Callum Smith

“I’ve seen an interview, saying he’d consider cruiserweight…if he comes to 168, I believe I’m the No 1 in that division, so he’ll have to come and beat me to take that place,” said Callum to about Canelo.”I’m not going to waste my career waiting for a fight that might never happen…There’s still plenty of other big fights.”

The 6’3″ Smith will be defending his WBA Super World super middleweight title against #1 WBA John ‘The Gorilla’ Ryder (28-4, 16 KOs) this month on November 23 at the Echo Arena, in Liverpool, England. This fight doesn’t mean much for boxing fans outside of the UK, as Ryder, 31, is an unknown, and he’s beaten by mostly domestic level fighters during his career. But for the UK, they love the Callum-Ryder match. Ryder has previous defeats against these fighters:

  • Rocky Fielding
  • Nick Blackwell
  • Jack Arnfield
  • Billy Joe Saunders

Ryder’s loss to Saunders was a narrow 12 round unanimous decision defeat in September 2013. The scores were 115-114, 115-113 and 115-113. Saunders has gotten better in the last six years, and it’s quite possible that Ryder would lose badly against him now if they were to fight. The only way that Ryder can get a second fight against Saunders if he beats Smith on November 23, and the prospects of him doing that are slim. Callum has too much size, power, skills and youth on the 5’9″ Ryder.

“He’s had a career of ups and downs, and he’s probably on the biggest up of his career now,” said Smith about Ryder.

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