On Saturday night in the Alamodome in San Antonio, top pound for pound fighter Canelo Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) will take on Callum Smith (27-0, 19 KOs) for Smith’s WBA super middleweight title and the vacant WBC belt.
Canelo has been hopping around weight classes lately, following his fights with Gennady Golovkin he went up to super-middleweight and grabbed the WBA belt from Rocky Fielding. He then defended his middleweight titles against Daniel Jacobs and in his last fight moved up to light heavyweight and brutally knocked out Sergey Kovalev.
Smith became recognised by most as the #1 super middleweight when he knocked out George Groves in 2018 to win the World Boxing Super Series tournament. However, he was very unconvincing in his last fight against the relatively unheralded John Ryder and needed a gift from the judges to retain his titles.
Smith is huge for the weight class and could probably fight two divisions above and this makes him a handful at range but has struggled with being pressured before in his “win” over Ryder or even when he dropped rounds to kickboxer Nieky Holzken. Canelo used a high guard, pressure and bodywork to wear down a bigger boxer in Kovalev. He also went 24 rounds with Golovkin without ever seeming fazed by his power so Smith having a puncher’s chance seems unlikely to me despite the huge size disparity. He might drop some early rounds on volume while he’s sapping Smith’s stamina with body work but I expect Canelo to patiently work his way towards a late stoppage in very similar fashion to the Kovalev fight.
If Canelo does win and stays at super-middleweight, I would find a fight with IBF champion Caleb Plant very interesting. But the most likely scenario at the moment seems to be a return to middleweight and the conclusion of the trilogy with GGG.
As Canelo is the biggest name in boxing, his star power is enough to carry the card on his own and the undercard doesn’t feature much of note.
Canelo vs Smith airs on DAZN at 8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT on Saturday December 19th. Main event start time is expected to be at 11:00pm ET/8:00pm PT.
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