Mexican P4P superstar Canelo Alvarez (53-1-2, 36KOs) will challenge unbeaten Brit Callum Smith (27-0, 19KOs) for his WBA and Ring Magazine World Super-Middleweight titles on Saturday December 19, live on DAZN.
Alvarez is back in action for the first time since knocking out Sergey Kovalev in November 2019 in Las Vegas, ripping the WBO World Light-Heavyweight title from the Russian to become a four-weight World ruler.
Liverpool's 'Mundo' had been calling for this fight to cement his position as top dog at 168lbs after defending the titles twice, stopping Hassan N’Dam in New York in June 2019 and then narrowly outpointing John Ryder in his hometown five months later. Smith will also be out for family revenge when he steps through the ropes, with Canelo having beaten his brother Liam in Texas in September 2016.
So will it be repeat or revenge for the Smith brothers? BBN asked their panel of pundits for their views:
Southern Area title contender
"I've been changing my mind since this got announced, Canelo has been in with far better opposition, but that's not down to Smith, as he can only beat who is in front of him. I think if Smith comes in with the right game plan, gets behind his jab, unsets Canelo early and doesn't let him get comfortable, then I can see Smith winning on points."
Former British, Commonwealth, European & World champion
"I'm going for a shock win by points to Callum Smith, using his natural size by hitting and moving."
IBO Continental super-middleweight champion
"As a former team mate and sparring partner of Callum (circa 2010-11), it's amazing to see how successful the lad has become. Callum has the attributes to beat Canelo, so I'll go for a 'shock the world result' with a Smith win."
English super-middleweight title contender
"I think the size difference is a big deal and will be awkward for Canelo to start with. I think Callum hits very hard when in his rhythm and very fit also. My concern for Callum, if you go off the Ryder fight, I felt Ryder got that decision although it went to Smith, that Canelo is a whole different fighter and will bring many adaptable answers which could unsettle Smith. Canelo is a special fighter, so I think it’s a big ask for Smith but with his attributes I wouldn’t rule out an upset.
Heart says Smith, but boxing brain says Canelo."
British super-middleweight champion
"Massive chance for Mundo to cement his legacy, and I cant see anything other than a win for Callum.
His size, range, and boxing brain will prevail here. Look, we all know how good Canelo is, but all the attributes are with Mundo here. He hits like a train at super-middle and because of his boxing brain he will know and use them traits he has to his advantage, I wouldn't be totally surprised if he wins early."
Manager and Promoter
"Not many fights that Callum Smith would not go in as favourite but this is one of them.
He is a giant for 12 stone and doing the weight must be hard, to take the fight on four weeks’ notice even though he's been in the gym hoping it might happen will be a big difference and is why I cannot even give him a puncher's chance.
He had to take the fight as it will be massive money and maybe not come around ever again, so good luck to him and I will be cheering him on but Canelo is a special fighter, clever, hurtful and also shown a great chin - unfortunately I cannot see anything but a stoppage around the midway stage of the contest for Canelo."
Three-time national amateur champion
"So glad that this fight has been made, because boxing needed some more big fights to happen this year.
For me, Canelo is P4P the best in the world, so it won’t be an easy night for Callum Smith. I reckon he will have periods of success throughout the fight, but I can only see Canelo winning this. I can see a stoppage between rounds 8 and 10 for Canelo."
"I like the match up.
Smith will be coming to win and has been waiting for a long time for a big fight. It is actually difficult to see how talented he is because despite being the Ring champion at 168lbs, he hasn't really been tested by any world class fighters (Groves was banged up and past his best going into their WBSS final).
I think the size and height of Smith will be a problem from Canelo to decipher early on. However, he isn't the quickest and if Smith attempts to throw bombs, I can only envision that Canelo will be using his fluid upper-body movement to slip punches and return with spiteful combinations.
Canelo has been out of the ring for much longer than he would have liked but that will only serve to motivate him. He will take over the bout from the middle stages, and counter-punches his way to a tough but clear unanimous victory."
Former British champion
"Callum Smith is a great boxer, very big at the weight, and I hope he does well in this fight, but I think it could be a late stoppage for Canelo."
Global Boxing News Editor
"I think Canelo wins the fight, his movement and skillset will be simply too advanced for Callum Smith.
Smith was fortunate to take the win against John Ryder and faces another big leap up in level here.
Therefore I would have to say the P4P number one will get the stoppage in his ring return."
Welsh Area super-lightweight champion
"I think Cantelo probably has the skills to get the job done, however Smith can be really vicious.
I do think Canelo will have a lot of confidence especially after beating Smith’s brother and Mr. Gallagher previously.
It’ll be a great fight either way, I’m sitting firmly on the fence, but hoping Smith gets a job done."
Manager and Promoter
"I'm delighted Callum has got his shot, it is well deserved, and out of all the other British fighters that have challenged Canelo, I do feel Smith has more of a chance, however Callum did struggle against John Ryder in his last fight and Canelo is a level or two above him so unless Smith can raise his game and Canelo has a bad night, then I can't see anything other than a Canelo win, but really do hope I'm wrong."
"Canelo is clearly favorite in this fight. I think that Callum's size advantage will be big factor in first couple rounds, but nothing Canelo can't overcome.
I see Canelo start with body punching from start of the fight and finish fight between 7-9 round, with punch in the liver."
"Before the John Ryder fight, I would have been excited for a Callum Smith win here, but I can see now that he isn't quite as formidable as I once thought he was.
He's huge for the weight and you'd naturally question if it's difficult for a man of his size to make the 168lbs limit everytime, especially as he's getting older, but he seems to always be in incredible shape. I hope he does make the weight ok with no weakening.
Having Liam Smith on side with his unique experience fighting Canelo himself will be a huge advantage for Callum. Liam is very knowledgeable anyway, but his advice will be invaluable.
It will not be a one-sided fight and it could be a real battle of wills and skills early on, but I expect Canelo to gradually pull away with his superior skillset, experience, knowledge and quality, and I expect a late stoppage or points win to the Mexican."
Co-Founder of buymyfight.com
"It’d be nice for Callum to get revenge for his brother, and whilst I think Callum would have the best chance out of the Smiths, I just cant see anything other than a Canelo victory here. I’d be partly positive and say a points win rather than stoppage although that’s the best I would hope for."
"I have to go with Callum Smith, I always back the Brit, plus he is tall, rangey and not the softest puncher in the world either."
Dee The Hat
"I’m not listening to my head, I’m going with my heart! Callum Smith is the best super middleweight in the world. He’s won the WSSB, and holds the Ring belt. He’s massive for the weight, in his prime, and he has an experienced top class proven trainer in his corner.
Joe Gallagher is one of the best trainers in the world, has been for years, and Callum is a class act and a scouser so they gonna do it. He’s gonna shock the world and knock out Canelo!"
Tru School Sports
"The only positive thing about Callum Smith vs Canelo is that I’ll be happy no matter who loses. Still can’t believe people think this is a great fight, I feel like I’m the only person that’s really taken the time to watch Callum Smith fight because there’s no way on earth you could watch this man's career and tell me he can beat Canelo let alone compete with him.
Callum Smith is a great example of why you can’t just look at a boxer being great if he has belts. Reality is that Callum Smith won all those belts against European fighters and the fighters over there are 2nd rate in comparison to American fighters at 168. So he’s unproven and he got whooped his last fight against John Ryder and the robbed him blind to keep the possibility of this fight alive."
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