Updated: Dec 19, 2020
This weekend will witness the P4P king, Saul Canelo Alvarez (53-1-2 36KO) take on the 168lbs king, Callum Smith (27-0-0 19KO) in what is possibly the best match up of 2020.
It has the potential to be fight of the year and as an event, has slightly gone under the radar due to the late announcement. The fighters had their first face to face on Tuesday with Smith showing off his obvious advantage by towering over Canelo.
The Mexican superstar Canelo has not tasted defeat since 2013 when he lost to Floyd Mayweather via a majority decision at the MGM Grand. Since that defeat, Canelo has taken the boxing world by storm and has become the biggest star in the sport.
His resume consists of beating Gennadiy Golovkin, Daniel Jacobs, Sergey Kovalev and also Callum's older brother, Liam Smith. Canelo has won world titles at different weight categories and has established himself as an unstoppable force and that is what Callum Smith has to contend with when they meet this weekend.
Canelo last boxed in November 2019 against the Krusher, Sergey Kovalev in a hard fought contest before the Mexican wore Kovalev down in the 11th round and won his first world title in the light heavyweight division. The scorecards at the time of the knockout read 96-94, 96-94 & 95-95 which shows you just how far the 36 year old Russian pushed his opponent and I am certain the younger, fresh Callum Smith will pose more questions. Canelo has been boxing professionally now for 15 years and if he beats Smith this weekend, how much more is there for him to achieve? Canelo is a special fighter, a P4P great and has become a national treasure in Mexico but for me, he faces his biggest challenge yet in an unbeaten and strong Callum Smith.
Callum Smith won his world titles against George Groves in the WBSS on 29th September 2018 and has had two successful defences since. He produced a devastating knockout against Hassan N'Dam before beating fellow Brit and southpaw, John Ryder towards the back end of 2019. His most recent performance against Ryder was not pretty at times but as great fighters do, they find a way to win and it is probably that performance which has landed the biggest fight out there for him. John Ryder asked questions of Smith which no fighter has done yet and would have been a great learning fight for 'Mundo'. After the fight, Joe Gallagher was left frustrated with a lot of the boxing media who questioned the outcome of that fight and will no doubt be hoping his fighter will put on a clinical performance this weekend.
Callum will be the second Smith brother to take on the P4P king Canelo after Liam was knocked out with a vicious body shot in the 9th round back in September 2016. The Smith brothers have been a joy to watch over the years and have flown the flag for Merseyside but it is fair to say if Callum Smith and Joe Gallagher can pull this off, it would be a great moment for them all.
When Callum beat Groves in the WBSS final in Saudi Arabia, there was a lot of people that claimed Groves was coming towards the end of his career and I don't feel Smith got the total recognition for that victory. There is no doubt Smith is still learning on the job but he has done everything asked of him so far and more. The Smith team believes that there is a lot more to come and it will need to when that first bell goes against Canelo.
This fight poses so many questions for both fighters, can Canelo close the gap? Will Smith's height and reach advantage be too much on the night? Can Canelo's chin hold up if and when Smith lands flush? Can Smith handle the body shots which are coming his way? I personally can not wait for this fight and as a Brit, I would love Smith to pull it off and inflict Canelo's second defeat as a professional. The size difference looks huge and as Callum Smith has stated this week, "a good big 'un beats a small little 'un". There has been a lot of people saying recently that Canelo is better at 160lbs than he is at 168lbs but if the Mexican can beat Smith this weekend, I think he will put that statement to bed.
02/11/2019- Sergey Kovalev- WIN- KO 11th Round
04/05/2019- Daniel Jacobs - WIN - UD (116-112, 115-113, 115-113)
15/12/2018- Rocky Fielding- WIN- KO 3rd Round
15/09/2018- Gennadiy Golovkin- WIN MD (114-114, 115-113, 115-113)