Callum Smith says Canelo Alvarez is too small to win
By Dan Ambrose: Callum Smith is confident that he will be able to use his six-inch height advantage against the 5’8″ Canelo Alvarez when they fight on December 19th at The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Smith, 6’3′, will utilize his height and reach to his advantage against Canelo, who started his career 15 years ago at 140. Canelo has steadily bulked up over the years, and he’s now a stocky super middleweight.
Thus far, Canelo has gotten away with being small for the 168-lb division because he’s only fought twice in the weight class against Rocky Fielding and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Those guys were nowhere near as good as Callum Smith, David Benavidez, and Caleb Plant.
Canelo will be fighting his first quality opponent at super middleweight when he meets up with Callum Smith, and it should be interesting to see what happens. You can’t rule out a victory for Smith, as Canelo is so small, and he looked terrible in his last fight against Sergey Kovalev at 175.
Callum Smith too big for Alvarez
“I think stylistically I’m hard to beat, and I think the best Canelo Alvarez is at 160,” said Callum Smith to Boxing with Chris Mannix. “There’s a lot of big people at 168.
“I’m big, and I got the skills to go with it as well. So, I think tactically, and stylistically I’m in this fight to win it, and I believe I will,’ said Smith of his match against Alvarez.
“Good for Canelo Alvarez in coming back at the end of the year, but coming back in what is arguably the toughest fight he can get in,” said Mannix to DAZN Boxing. “He’s coming back against the very best [Callum Smith].
“Canelo Alvarez will fight Callum Smith on December 19th. Alvarez said on Instagram this week, ‘I’m thrilled to return to the ring to make history. I’m motivated to continue to be fighting against the best. I look forward to fighting Callum Smith, who is one of the best at 168 pounds,” said Canelo.
“Praise the boxing Gods, this is what we needed for this miserable year of 2020,” said Sergio Mora on Canelo coming back to fight Callum Smith. “They obviously made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
“This was a boss move on his own terms. He [Canelo] took everything that he wanted and came back when he wanted at his time. I’m speechless. It’s the best news I’ve gotten in a long time.”
Smith’s size could play a big part in this fight if he can use it against the 5’8″ Canelo. Smith will have to be smart and tie Canelo up if he takes action to the inside.
It’s important that Smith not allow Canelo to stay in close and throw shots as he did against Rocky Fielding in 2018. Smith’s way to prevent Canelo from working is by holding him whenever he works his way to the inside.
Canelo will be giving away size
“Good for Canelo Alvarez in coming back before the end of the year, but coming back in one of the toughest fights he can get in,” said Mannix. “Callum Smith, there’s no debate. He is the top 168-pounder in the world.
“His resume is better than virtually anyone else’s at 168 pounds. It’s better than Caleb Plant and better than Billy Joe Saunders at 168. It’s better than David Benavidez, who doesn’t have a title anymore but is considered a top super middleweight.
“He’s [Canelo] coming back against the very best. Give him credit for this. Callum Smith is not going to be just a walk in the park type of fight. He’s big, and he’s going to have five or six inches on Canelo on fight night.
“He’s probably going to rehydrate to close to cruiserweight level. This is an extremely tough challenge that Canelo is taking on. I give him all the props in the world for being willing to take it.”
“The numbers are high in that,” Mora said of Callum Smith’s size advantage over Alvarez. “It’s seven inches in height, eight inches in reach.
“That’s going to be a lot for Canelo to have to get on the inside, and the body punches [from Smith] and the fact that he’s undefeated and the fact that this is the biggest fight in Smith’s career.”
Canelo’s side disadvantage might not work against him if he can get in close to Smith. But if Smith can keep the contest at range or hit Canelo with big shots as he’s coming in, he can win this fight.
What Smith can’t do is let Canelo get in close and stay there for prolonged periods o time the way that John Ryder did last year.
Callum Smith has hit the jackpot
“He hit the jackpot,” said Mora about Smith in landing the Canelo fight. “He has enough time to prepare. All the stars are aligned; this will be a fantastic fight.”
“I know Canelo has been training for months now and has been targeting this December 19th date, but to have a month to prepare for one of the best fighters in and around his weight class, that’s a tough challenge.
“Kudos to Canelo for continuing to follow the track he’s on in fighting the best as often as possible.”
Callum, 30, has been picked out by Canelo for what amounts to winning the lottery. Smith has only had one big fight during his eight-year pro career, and that was against a worn-out George Groves in the final of the World Boxing Super Series tournament in 2018.
Groves had a bad shoulder by the time he fought Smith, which made him a one-armed fighter.
It’s going to be a different story for Callum when he gets inside the ring with the healthy Canelo, as he’s going to be 100% healthy, and he’ll be on him the entire time. If Callum hasn’t improved his ability to fight on the inside, Canelo will knock him out.
Smith was completely lost last year in November in his fight against John Ryder, who took the match to the inside and made him miserable.
Golovkin returning to the ring
“In addition to Canelo, we could see GGG’s return to the ring soon,” said Mannix. “I’m told Gennadiy Golovkin is progressing in a deal to defend his middleweight title against Kamil Szeremeta on December 18th, a day before Canelo fights Callum Smith.
“This could put Canelo and GGG on a path to fight a trilogy fight in 2021. Are you still interested in Canelo-GGG III?”
“Yes, I am. Of course, I am,” said Mora about wanting to see Alvarez and Gennadiy fight again in a trilogy match.
“Most people need closure. It would help if you had that satisfaction of that chapter ending. Suppose you look at the greatest trilogies of all time, of course, Ali-Frazier. That third one ended with a stoppage when Frazier couldn’t come out in the fourteenth.
“If you think about Pacquiao-Marquez, it took four fights for it to get that knockout finally. We got closure. Once we get closure, no matter the age, no matter if they’re in their prime anymore, boxing fans are happy.
“So, yes, we need the trilogy, we need Golovkin and Canelo to duke it out again. We need a stoppage; that way, we can close the chapter and move on with our lives.”
Golovkin has decided to use up one of his last three remaining on his six-fight contract facing his IBF mandatory Kamil Szeremeta (20-0, 5 KOs). It’s obvious why GGG has chosen to face the little known, weak-punching Szeremeta.
The fight is a safe one for Golovkin, and it won’t put his trilogy match at risk the way other fights would. Golovkin cannot afford to lose to anyone if he wants to face Canelo a third time for big money.
Hence, Gennadiy busted his backside to win the IBF 160-lb title in October 2019. Part of the perks that go with having that belt is defending against his mandatory challenger Szeremeta, who arguably has no business being ranked #1 by the IBF.
Canelo and GGG have unfinished business
“I do think there’s unfinished business with Canelo and Golovkin,” said Mannix. “Gennadiy can say with a reasonable amount of certainty that he won the first fight [with Canelo].
“The second fight was a razor-thin decision by Canelo that could have gone either way. So a third fight is certainly warranted between these two guys.
“But as much as that, even we that are deep in the weeds in boxing can probably say that Canelo will probably be a huge favorite in that third fight because he’s a younger, fresher fighter and Gennadiy is in his late 30s.
“The mainstream interest in that fight is as big as any non-heavyweight fight in boxing. Think about it. Casual boxing fans, even non-boxing fans, know about Canelo and GGG.
“They know these two names. So if you’re Canelo and Golovkin, not only do you want that fight to say definitively who the better fighter is, but it’s the most marketable fight out there.
“There’s more interest in the third fight between Canelo and Golovkin than there is for Canelo-Caleb Plant, Canelo-Jermall Charlo, Canelo-Demetrius Andrade.
“This is still one of the biggest fights that can be made in boxing, and if Golovkin wins his upcoming fight definitively, if he knocks out Szeremeta, there will be a lot of buzz going into a potential May showdown [between GGG and Canelo].”
“Absolutely, they say that familiarity breeds contempt,” said Mora. “Well, familiarity also breeds success, especially with the casual boxing fans and the rabid boxing fans. We need that trilogy [between Canelo and Gennadiy[, we need closure.”
It’s been two years since Canelo beat Golovkin by a controversial decision. You hate to say it, but it’s now to the point where the Mexican star won’t receive credit if he defeats Golovkin in May 2021, as he’ll be 39-years-old.
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