Callum Smith puts his WBA super world title on the line against one of boxing’s current pound for pound stars, Mexican Canelo Alvarez.
The WBC vacant world super-middleweight title will also be on the line this Saturday night as Canelo looks to win his first proper world title at super-middleweight, if he wins, he will have become a world champion in four different weight classes.
Both fighters have been absent from the ring for over a year, no surprise given the year everyone has had and how it has affected the sport, therefore we may or may not see a cagey start as both fighters shake off some ring rust and feel each other out.
The obvious advantage for Smith is his sheer size when matched up against Canelo, Smith a natural super middleweight, whereas Canelo began his career as a super lightweight, moving up the divisions in a career now spanning 15 years. As a result, Smith has an 8-inch reach advantage, something he will need to utilize effectively if he is to have any success.
If Smith can dictate the range of the fight and utilise his jab from distance, whilst punishing Canelo when closing the gap, this is his best chance. However, Canelo is excellent at fighting on the inside, so this will be much easier said than done.
I think this is a tough ask for Smith, despite the obvious advantages he has in this fight, Canelo for me is the much-talented fighter, who has shown a granite chin against one of the hardest hitting middleweights in boxing history, so I don’t see Smith’s power troubling Canelo like it needs to, to have any chance of winning this fight.
I feel as the fight progresses we will see Canelo start to get in on the inside more and more and have the fight the way he wants it, once that happens I think the tree chopping will begin. I am fully expecting to see a Canelo stoppage victory this weekend, around the mid to late rounds.
If I am wrong, however, it will mark one of the greatest victories on the road for any British fighter and Callum Smith will have catapulted himself to stardom overnight and cemented a serious legacy. This is a huge fight for Callum Smith, make no mistake about that.
However, I think Canelo’s exceptional talent will negate the size and reach advantages Smith has, and he will stop Smith in a not too dissimilar fashion to how he stopped Callum Smith’s brother Liam in 2016.
PREDICTION: CANELO ALVAREZ BY KO/TKO ROUND 9
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