Callum Smith: I’d love a rematch with Canelo Alvarez at 175

By Boxing News - 09/16/2021 - Comments

By William Lloyd: Callum Smith says he’d like to get a rematch with Canelo Alvarez at 175 if the Mexican superstar moves up to his new weight class in the future.

Callum will be fighting former light heavyweight world title challenger Lenis Castillo on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk on September 25th at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London.

This will be Callum’s first fight at 175, and he’s looking forward to seeing how he goes against a solid contender in Castillo (21-3, 1, 16 KOs). Castillo lost a 12 round unanimous decision to WBA 175-lb champion Dmitry Bivol two years ago in October 2019.

The former WBA super middleweight champion Smith (27-1, 19 KOs) wasn’t at his best when he lost a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision to Canelo when they fought nine months ago last December at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

That fight took place before Smith, 31, had hooked up with trainer Buddy McGirt, and he’s made a lot of changes to his fighting style.

The 6’3″ Smith made mistakes against Canelo last time; he would never make if they were to fight now.

Also, Smith was sacrificing a lot of strength and power by draining down to 168 by that point in his career. He’d been at super middleweight for too long, and his body could no longer make the weight without him being weakened.

Now that Callum is fighting at 175, he’s stronger, and he now has a great trainer in McGirt who is helping him get better.

Callum Smith wants Canelo rematch

“I do believe I’m good enough to be a two-weight world champion,” said Callum Smith to Boxing Social.

“I think I can do it. “I’d love a rematch. He beat me and beat me well, no excuses, but I do believe we’ll see a better version of me at 175,” said Callum about his loss to Canelo Alvarez.

Image: Callum Smith: I'd love a rematch with Canelo Alvarez at 175

“That’s my only regret on the fight that we never saw the best version of me in with him. I didn’t perform on the night, and that’s that. That’s on me.

“If I were offered the fight at 175, I’d jump at it if I was a world champion. I’m not going to hold my breath on that one.

“I do believe he’ll move up at some point, and I think he’ll go wherever he wants to,” said Callum Smith about Canelo.

“Yeah, I think we’ll see a better version of me at 175. I think we’ll see a better version of him at 175, and you’ll definitely see a better version of me,” said Smith on Canelo.

It’s possible that Canelo, 31, will wind up at 175 soon after he completes his goal of becoming the undisputed champion at 168. That’s what Canelo’s promoter Eddie Hearn has talked about him doing.

If Canelo moves up to 175, Callum will have a chance of fighting him again, as long as he picks up one of the belts. It’s fair to say that Smith absolutely needs a title at 175 to use as bait to lure Canelo into fighting him against.

Without a world title, Smith has nothing going to get Canelo to fight him in a rematch. Callum lost in such a decisive manner last December to Canelo that there would be no interest on his or the public’s part unless he had something the Mexican fighter wanted.

One reason why Canelo probably won’t stay at 168 after he beats IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant on November 6th is that he would be expected to fight David Benavidez.

That general belief is that Canelo wants nothing to do with Benavidez because it’s a bad style match-up for him. So if Canelo moves up to 175, he’ll almost surely be attempting to become the undisputed champion.

To get in the position to fight Canelo again, Callum needs to beat IBF/WBC champ Artur Beterbiev, WBO champion Joe Smith Jr., or WBA champion Bivol. Obviously, it’s easier said than done, but it’s possible.

Callum can’t afford to fight the way he did against Canelo by parking himself against the ropes and staying there for 12 rounds.

Smith talks about Lenin Castillo fight

“He’s a good fighter. He’s tall and has a good jab, and he’s heavy-handed,” said Callum about his next opponent Lenin Castillo. “He was making Bivol have to work each round.

“It’s a good fight. It’s not like I’m coming and beating a journeyman. I’m facing a good fighter that has boxed for a world title, so it’s a good step in the division and brings me one step closer to where I want to be.

“You always want to make a statement, but this is about getting back to your winning ways. I want to have a good relationship with Buddy, and I believe it’ll end with me being a world champion,” Callum said.

Castillo has got excellent punching power in both hands, and this isn’t some guy that is talentless and is no threat to beat Smith.

For Callum to win this fight, he will need to stay in the center of the ring and avoid being stationary.

Callum believes he’ll be better at 175

“I believe I’ll benefit, but I’ll still be a huge 175,” said Callum in going from 168 to 175. “It probably came at the right time. I was just getting to the end at 168.

“It was getting a little bit tougher with each fight [to get down to 168]. I’m looking forward to being at 175. It’s a place that I always envisioned myself to be, but I just didn’t know when.

“If I beat Lenin Castillo, my next fight is for the world title. If I have to have one more or two more, that will be down to my team.

“My sights are on the threat champions. Whoever they put in front of me, I believe I’ll beat to do so.

“I’m aiming for the top three, and I’ll beat whoever I have to for me to get there. Bivol is with Matchroom, so that’s the easiest one to make. Joe Smith is with Top Rank. I do believe I can beat any of them,” said Smith.

It’s assumed that Smith will be a lot better at 175 than he was at 168 because he looked like a dead man walking after making weight for his last two fights in the weight class against Canelo and John Ryder.

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