Last December, Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) defeated former champion Callum Smith (27-1, 19 KOs) by unanimous decision in 12 stinging rounds to win the vacant WBC and WBA super-middleweight titles.
The four-weight ruler battered and bloodied previously the unbeaten Brit on his way to a dominant 12-round win in the main event of a seven-bout card before a pandemic-restricted, sellout crowd of 11,426 on December 19 at the Alamodome in Texas.
Liverpool's Smith, in an interview with Sky Sports, commented: “I was in the gym for most of the year, so I came to the fight with Canelo well prepared, otherwise I would have turned down the fight.
“I was in shape, and I did all 12 rounds well. Tactically, I would have liked more time to adapt to Canelo, but there is no certainty that the result would have been different.
“He’s very smart using his jab. With anyone else, you would throw the jab. But he wants you to do just that, because he’s a counter puncher. So you don’t throw that many jabs and while you’re waiting, he closes the gap and then he hits you.
“You think: ‘How did he hit me?' His best asset is his presence and his defence. It was so hard to hit him cleanly. When I was throwing punches at him, he was making me miss, although he wasn’t landing punches entirely. Yet, he knows how to neutralise you. I don’t think anyone will beat him right now. His defense is too good…and he has power.”
Smith's battle with Saul was nominated in the WBC annual awards for 2020.
The Brit is planning on moving up in weight to 175lbs but he hasn't confirmed what the fiture holds for him just yet.