Live Stream: Canelo Alvarez – Callum Smith DAZN Press Conference
By Dan Ambrose: Callum Smith plans on taking full advantage of the opportunity he’s been given to face Canelo Alvarez on December 19th in the main event on DAZN.
Smith (27-0, 19 KOs) sees the smaller 5’8″ Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) as having picked the wrong person in choosing to challenge him for his WBA Super World super middleweight title on December 19th at the Alamodome, in San Antonio, Texas.
According to the 6’3″ Smith, Canelo should be fighting at 160, where he’s at his best rather than to be mixing it with him at 168. Smith is basically a light heavyweight, not a super-middleweight.
Smith = a huge 168-pounder
Somehow, Smith and his training team are able to help him cut weight to get down to the 168lb limit so that he can still compete at super-middleweight, but he’s really a 175-pounder.
Canelo should be able to handle Smith’s size, given that his last fight was at 175 against WBO light-heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in November of last year.
But, Canelo didn’t look good in that fight, and the only reason he won is that Kovalev is an old 36, and he fought a very, very strange fight. It almost looked like Kovalev was taking it easy on Canelo for the entire contest apart from the 8th.
Callum Smith isn’t going to be taking it easy on Canelo on December 19th, and this could be a size mismatch on the night. Normally if you take a middleweight and put them in with a light heavyweight, they’re going to be massacred by the bigger fighters.
We could see that happening to Canelo as long as Smith doesn’t let him stay in close for the entire fight like his last opponent John Ryder did last year. Callum has learned from that fight, and you can bet that he won’t let Canelo, 30, get in close if he can help it.
Smith: Canelo is at his best at 160, not 168
“I feel good. It’s a fight that has been talked about for most of 2020, and it’s been on the table and off the table, and then the pandemic came and there were question marks if we were even going to fight at all in 2020,” said Callum to DAZN.
“It’s a fight that I’ve wanted for a while. I want the biggest fights possible, and the biggest fight possible for me at the moment is Canelo Alvarez. It’s been frustrating but I was always planning on fighting towards the end of the year.
“I was in the gym training and I was hoping of getting a date towards the end of the year. There was talk of the possible Canelo fight, and then all the court stuff happened with Canelo.
“We thought he wasn’t going to fight, and then it came back on again. It was kind of frustrating because we’ve been here so many times and it hasn’t happened. In the last week or so, we finally got it over the line.
“I’m in good shape, as I said, I was hoping to fight at the end of 2020 anyways. I didn’t know if it would be Canelo or a voluntary defense. And I wasn’t too sure. I was hoping to fight and didn’t want to write the full year off as a loss. Yeah, I was in the gym, and I’ve been there for a while. I’m in this fight to win it, and I’ll be in the best shape possible.
“I’m doing most of my work at home in our own gym, and I’m getting in the best shape possible,” continued Callum Smith.
“Then I’ll go over to the States and do what I have to over there. I’m just glad this fight is done, because it’s a very strange and difficult time.
“Yeah, he’s a special fighter, and he’s in the position he is because of what he’s done previously,” said Smith of Canelo. “I just think stylistically, I’m hard to beat.
“The best Canelo Alvarez is at 160, and not at 168. I’m big, but I believe I’ve got the skills to go with it as well. I’m in this fight to win it and I believe I will,” said Callum.
Canelo hasn’t fought enough at 168 or 175 to say that he’s well-suited for those weight classes. The casual boxing fans mistakenly think Canelo has proven himself at super-middleweight and light-heavyweight, but he hasn’t.
His only win at 168 was against Rocky Fielding in 2018, and at 175, he beat a shot Sergey Kovalev. Those were hand-picked fighters by Canelo.
For Canelo to prove himself at 168, he would need to beat these guys:
- David Benavidez
- Caleb Plant
- Edger Berlanga
- Callum Smith
Sorry, Rocky Fielding and Daniel Jacobs don’t make the list as being one of the best at 168.
At 175, Canelo would need to beat these fighters to prove himself:
- Artur Beterbiev
- Dimitry Bivol
- Joe Smith Jr
- Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez
- Jean Pascal
Callum believes he’ll win if he’s at his best
“It’s getting tougher [to get down to 168], but I’ve got a really good team and nutritionist, and I’m really disciplined and I do it correctly and I believe it can make it comfortably,” said Smith.
“If it affects my performance, then I’ll move and set new goals to try and become a two-weight world champion at 175. But for the moment, I can do the weight that I perform at. We’ll stay here and try and achieve as much as I can while I’m still doing it.
“I’m going to work in the gym with my coach and come up with tactics that I’m going to do and try and stop Canelo from what he’s good at and get off at what I’m good at and fight my type of fight,” Callum said about how he’ll deal with Canelo’s inside game.
“We’re two world-class fighters, and I’m sure it’ll be a good one. Whoever gets the tactics right on the night will come away with the win, but it’s an exciting one.
“These are the fights that I’ve always wanted since I turned professional. I want to be in with the best. You don’t know how good you are until you have a really good fighter in front of you and you need to raise your game. This is exactly that for me.
“That doesn’t just go for me, that’s boxing in general,” said Smith about how people assume he’s a limited talent since his poor performance against John Ryder.
“One bad performance and people magnify it and jump on it, and pick holes in it. All your good fights before, they forget about it. It’s as if that’s the real version of you, and they were all just flips.
“But listen, I know how good I am and what I’m capable of, and I know what I can do. If I’m in the same version I was in my last fight, I’ll lose and there are no two ways about that. But if the best version of me turns up, then I’ll win,” said Smith.
Callum might win even if he’s not at his best. His only bad performance during his career was against John Ryder and the unorthodox Nieky Holzken, and those were fights where Smith struggled mentally.
Canelo is the fight Smith has dreamed of
“I’ve been on him to get me out towards the end of the year,” Smith said of promoter Eddie Hearn. “It is frustrating when you’re in the gym training and you don’t know what you’re training for. It could be a waste.
“You could finish the year and go into the new year. It’s been tough, but I’m a professional fighter and I’m paid to train and keep my body in the best shape possible.
“You’ve always got to be ready for the call, and I got the call for Canelo with just four weeks to go. If I wasn’t in the gym living that kind of life, I wouldn’t have been able to accept it, but I was. It just shows if you’re ready, you’ll always be in good shape.
“And it was a bit of mixed emotions,” Callum said about his reaction to getting the Canelo fight. “It was the fight that I’ve been calling for.
“It was getting to the point where I was frustrating. I felt like, ‘hurry up and get it done or I’ll move on in the next few months.’
“When it did get announced and I saw the poster, it did feel exciting. These are the fights that I’ve always dreamed of being in since I was a little boy. Everyone wants to be in the biggest fights possible and this is the biggest fight possible for me in this day and age. I’ve got four weeks to get in the best shape possible.
“I’m a fighter and I want to win this fight as much as I do,” said Smith. “It would obviously be nice to get revenge for Liam [Smith], but I am my own person, and this is about me.
“Beating Canelo Alvarez, and looking back and saying it was good to get revenge for Liam as well. You can watch as much tape as you like, but it’s always different when you get in there.
“He’s [Liam] been there to say what he does good and the little things he doesn’t do so well. I’m sure I’ll pick his brains and get little tips off him.
“Canelo will probably fight me differently than how he fought my brother, but it’s always nice to speak to somebody that has shared the ring with him,” Callum said.
It’s good that Callum isn’t focusing on avenging his brother Liam Smith’s loss to Canelo, considering he needs to be emotionally detached when he gets in there. This is sports, not war.
The best way for Smith to win is to keep his wits about him, think smart, and don’t make mistakes. It wouldn’t hurt for Callum to get Canelo’s body because he’s got a rock-iron chin.
The only 175-pounders that would likely knock Canelo out with his headshots are Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr. I consider Callum Smith as a 175-pounder, not a 168-pounder.
Callum expects to wake up December 20th, still WBA champ
“I’ve never been in this position to where I’ve been overlooked before as a professional, but I understand that a lot of fight fans have been talking about Canelo-GGG for so many years now since the second fight happened,” said Smith.
“I know those talks are always going to happen, and there’s no denying that. But I got to say that I wouldn’t have took this fight if I didn’t believe I could win. There’s a lot of other fighters out there for me, and there’s a lot of easier fights out there for me.
“I’ve always said that I want to fight the best, and I’ve always said that I’m the best at this weight division. I believe I’ll beat Canelo Alvarez on December 19th. If he wants to go fight somebody else after that, he can.
“But I believe I’ll wake up on December 20th, still world champion and still the best super middleweight in the world. There is some sort of rematch clause, but if I beat him, the fans would want to see it again anyway.
“It would still be the biggest fight out there for me, but if not, I’m in a tough division, and there’s a lot of top fighters out there for me.
“As I mentioned before, this fight is about fighting the best, and it’ll still be after this. I’ll still be chasing unification fights and the other title-holders. I’m in my prime years, and I feel like I’m in my best years and I want to take advantage of them,” said Smith.
If the Canelo fight goes to a decision, Smith may find out the hard way how difficult it is to beat the Mexican star on points. Canelo has been involved in a handful of fights during his 16-year career in which he’s avoided defeats with controversial scoring.
Smith should be thinking knockout if he wants to ensure that he has his hand raised at the end because the odds are stacked against him winning a decision.
He’s facing Canelo, arguably the most popular fighter in North America, and he’ll be fighting him in front of a pro-Canelo crowd in Texas.
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