Canelo Alvarez 168 vs. Callum Smith 168 – weigh-in results
By Jim Maltzman: Canelo Alvarez and Callum Smith both weighed in at 168 pounds on Friday for their super middleweight title fight this Saturday night on DAZN from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) says he expected to rehydrate to 174 or 175 pounds by Saturday night, and he believes that Callum (27-0, 19 KOs) will be no heavier than 181 lbs.
The weight of the two fighters is less important than the punching power, and the question of what distance the contest will be fought at. If the much taller 6’4″ Smith can keep the 5’8″ Alvarez on the outside, as Floyd Mayweather Jr and Erislandy Lara both did, the superstar will be in for a long night.
Canelo can still win a decision even if he’s unable to get within fighting distance, though, as we’ve seen in his questionable victories over Gennadiy Golovkin, Lara including Austin Trout.
The judges may choose to give Canelo the rounds based on him landing one or two hard shots and ignore Smith’s volume punching. Smith punches with the same kind of power that Canelo possesses, if not harder, and he’s a better combination puncher.
Moreover, Smith has a far better engine than Canelo, who struggles with his endurance after the first six rounds. Canelo is an excellent six-round fighter, but not so good from the 7th through 12 rounds.
Alvarez believes size won’t matter
“It’s been very difficult for everybody, and very difficult for me to adapt and not be in the ring,” said Canelo when asked after the weigh-in his thoughts on being inactive during the pandemic. “We’re here now, and it’s just one day away.
“Because he’s #1 in this division at 168 pounds, and Eddy [Reynoso] and I want to unify all the titles at 168 lbs, and he’s the best here, Callum Smith. He’s excellent here at what he does, and that’s why we’re here fighting this fight,” Alvarez said in explaining why he’s fighting Smith.
“Callum Smith is a powerful fighter with very good qualities, and I too have good qualities, and I know it’s going to be a great fight, a difficult fight, but a very good fight we’re going to put on.
“With the experience that I have, the reality is, whether they’re taller or shorter, it doesn’t matter much to me due to my experience,” Canelo said in commenting on Callum Smith’s size advantage.
The height difference between Smith and Canelo is insane, and it looks for all intents and purposes like two fighters three divisions apart. Canelo looks like a 154-pounder going up against a 175-pounder.
If Smith rehydrates to near 190 lbs, Canelo is going to have a tough dealing with that size.
The 30-year-old Canelo is banking on his ability to get in close against Smith, as John Ryder did 13-months ago in November 2019, and work him over with body shots.
Smith didn’t know what to do when Ryder was fighting him at close quarters, and he looked out of it in that fight. The British boxing public overwhelmingly saw Ryder as the winner, as did the U.S fans.
Smith understands Canelo will get inside
“It feels great; I’ve been saying all week this is the fight that I want to be involved in,” said Callum Smith. “I said that when I became a world champion, I would set new goals and unify the division and become a world champion.
“I’ve finally got one, and it ticks all boxes against a superstar fighter [Canelo], and it’ a chance to unify the division.
“This is something I’ve always wanted. Size doesn’t matter unless you’ve got the skills to use it, and I’ve got to utilize my strengths. Together as a team, we’ve got good tactics.
“The fight isn’t going to be at my distance for all 12 rounds, but I’ve got to be able to fight no matter where the fight comes; I’ve got to be prepared. Canelo has shown that he can fight going forward or backward, and I’ve shown that I can do that myself.
“It’s an exciting one with two good fighters going up against each other. It excites me, and it excites the fans. I’ve got to do what I do and try and dominate and be the better fighter that I believe I am.
“I’m a world champion, and I’ve got to treat him like I have my 27 previous opponents and go in, and the best version of me beats him. I know what he’s good at and what he does,” said Smith of Alvarez.
Callum needs to use his jab in this fight if he wants to win because he can’t depend on brawling in close to win. The one flaw in Smith’s game is that he’s never developed his jab the way other taller fighters have to dominate his shorter opposition.
Smith has been overreliant on his ability to use his power to knock out his less talented and weaker opponents. He’s been able to get away with fighting this way because he’s not faced any punchers or high-caliber opposition during his career.
The one good fighter Smith has fought, George Groves, had injured his left shoulder in his previous match against Chris Eubank Jr. Groves wasn’t the same fighter and was stuck battling Smith with just his right hand.
Callum: Canelo will need to worry about my size
“I’m aware of what he’s good at, and I’m going to try and stop him from getting his strengths off,” Callum said of Canelo.
“First and foremost, make sure the best version of me is on the night, and let me deal with me. Let him worry about my style, my size, and my ability, and I’m sure it’s going to be a great fight. He’s been great in the camp, obviously.
“You can catch every single one of Canelo’s fights, and it’ll be a little bit different when you get in there, and I’m expecting that. But he’s been in there and shared the ring with him,” said Callum about his brother Liam Smith having fought Canelo in 2016.
“So little things that you see up close that he [Canelo] tries to set you up for that he feels I’ll be able to capitalize on. He’s been a great asset in camp, which he has for every camp, but a little bit more for this camp.
“So he’s been a good person to pick his brain for someone that has been there and done it,” said Smith.
If Smith fights tall, use his reach, and prevents Canelo, he’ll dominate the Mexican star. Hopefully, the judges don’t mess up the scoring of the fight give the wrong guy the division, as we’ve seen with four of Canelo’s past contests.
Ideally, we need a knockout in this fight to ensure there are no slip ups with the results. Canelo is going to be giving it his all to make sure he wins the fight in an emphatic fashion.
Alvarez obviously doesn’t like being given wins that the fans don’t agree with, so, he’ll be trying his best to KO Smith.
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