Think a few months ago when cocky hotshot Teofimo Lopez defeated two-time Olympic gold medalist and top pound-for-pound fighter, Vasyl Lomachenko.
Callum Smith (27-0, 19 KOs) will enter a makeshift ring at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Tx. this Saturday night as a decided underdog against Canelo Alvarez. Smith captured the WBA super-middleweight title two years ago by knocking out George Groves in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series. The win was impressive.
He defended his crown with an easy victory over shopworn Hassan N’Dam and a more difficult one against John Ryder. Smith got the decision over Ryder – many disagreed.
Alvarez (53-1-1, 36 KOs) won the middleweight world championship in September 2018 by virtue of a 12-round majority decision over Gennady Golovkin. Their first fight had ended in a very controversial draw. Many, including this writer, had Golovkin winning the bout.
The sequel was 12 rounds of intense and unrelenting war. Alvarez appeared to have the edge through nine rounds, but this time it was Golovkin, loaded with pride and desire, who came on in the later rounds. His rally had the crowd on their feet until the final bell rang. Alvarez was judged the winner by a split decision. The debate raged for days on who won, but nobody debated the inner fortitude that each fighter brought to the ring.
Alvarez moved up a division in 2018 and brought Rocky Fielding to his knees in less than three rounds. The fight was called a mismatch when it was announced. The news wasn’t fake. Canelo did what he wanted, putting away the towering Fielding with body shots.
Seven months later he defeated Danny Jacobs in a close fight and moved up again, facing light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. Alvarez knocked out Kovalev in round 11. All three fighters had one thing in common – a height and reach over Alvarez. In Fielding’s case a pretty substantial one.
Fielding and Smith are six-foot-three. Alvarez is roughly five-foot-eight.
Smith has used his height well in previous fights. His jab is solid while his right packs some pop. Canelo, with an edge in hand and foot speed, loves countering. Working Smith’s body seems like a plan, as long as he can get under the Liverpudlian’s left.
I think he will. Could Smith spring the upset? Yes, but the order is a tall (pun intended) one.
Ryder made Smith very uncomfortable by backing him up. There’s no doubt that Alvarez is aware of this.
Smith will likely do well in the early rounds, but Alvarez will up the ante as the fight progresses. I see Alvarez winning by a late stoppage, or, yes, decision.
Source: John Raspanti