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Callum Smith is a real threat to Canelo Alvarez on December 19th

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By Matt Lieberman: Canelo Alvarez is taking on unquestionably the most dangerous puncher in the 168-pound division in Callum Smith next month on December 19th on DAZN. There’s a real potential here for Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) to suffer his first career knockout defeat against the 6’3″ Brit.

Smith has the kind of power in his left hook that could separate Canelo from his senses, making him retreat that he chose to take on the hard-hitting British fighter.

Canelo has a reputation for being able to take the biggest shots against hard punchers, but he may have finally met up with a fighter that has too much power.

Callum Smith a huge puncher

Smith is a devasting slugger, but his accuracy is sometimes lacking. He can go many rounds without landing his shots perfectly, but when he does, it’s game over. In Smith’s last fight, he failed to connect perfectly on the chin of John Ryder, and he was forced to go 12 rounds to get the victory.

You’ve got to give Ryder a lot of credit for taking away Smith’s leverage by staying right on top of him on the inside. Canelo will obviously use the Ryder fight as a blueprint in how to beat Smith on December 19th.

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“We are a disciplined team that is ready to fight,” Canelo said on Instagram.

Two years ago, Callum won the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight tournament in stopping George Groves in 2018 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It was thought that Callum’s career would soar after that win, but things haven’t worked out.

The 30-year-old Smith has only fought twice since, beating Hassan N’Dam and John Ryder. Although Smith had hopes of taking on WBO 168lb champion Billy Joe Saunders in a unification match, the fight never came off, thanks to the pandemic.

Callum Smith’s recent wins:

  • John Ryder
  • Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
  • George Groves
  • Nieky Holzken
  • Erik Skoglund
  • Luke Blackledge

Canelo, 30, had initially begun negotiations for IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant for December 19th, but he changed his mind.

According to ESPN, Premier Boxing Champions wanted Canelo to face 36-year-old PBC fighter Anthony Dirrell first and then take on the unbeaten Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) afterward in a two-fight deal, but he didn’t want to do that.

Canelo took the better option

Dirrell hasn’t fought since losing to David Benavidez by a ninth-round knockout last year in September, and there wouldn’t have been much interest from boxing fans in watching Canelo face him just so that he could get the match that he wants against Plant.

So rather than commit to the two-deal, Canelo opted to go in the direction of Matchroom fighter Callum, who offered a lot more potential fan interest over a fight against the aging Dirrell. A fight against Dirrell would make sense if Canelo was coming off of a loss and needed a soft fight, but it would do nothing for him now when he needs a solid opponent, whose career is going well.

“It makes me very happy to share that we will be fighting against one of the best and I feel very happy because, in the end, that’s what we want, to continue advancing my career and to be the best,” said Canelo about his fight against Callum.

 

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A post shared by Saul Alvarez (@canelo)


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