canelo super-middleweight callum smith ggg Golovkin billy joe saunders

The super-middleweights - who beats who?

Published On Monday, October 7, 2019By British Boxing News

The super-middleweights are thriving but who is no.1?

Golovkin's win over Derevyanchenko at the weekend prompted renewed talks of a third fight with rival Canelo. However, there's Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders both holding world titles at the weight and both hunting down big fights. Eddie Hearn has already voiced his confidence that his newest signing, Saunders, will get the Canelo fight on Cinco de Mayo next year, and Smith will be looking for a mega-fight should he get through mandatory challenger John Ryder in November.

BBN asked their panel of experts who would beat who in the thriving, bustling 168lb scene right now:


Ryan Walsh
British featherweight champion

"I’m a huge Callum Smith fan, he was my pre tournament pick for the WBSS. I’ve had the pleasure to watch him & Liam work. Both world class. He has lots of physical advantages over all four. I’d like to see Callum box them all.  BJS would be tricky but the naturally bigger & in the conventional sense more talented fighter would win, Callum holds to many advantages. The Canelo fight would be great as he’s beaten his older brother (talk about incentive).

GGG would offer a stern test but with his age, height & reach Callum would surly shine. 

Any combination of these four men equal genuine world class fights. Boxing thrives of that let’s hope they can be made. Any combination would be mouthwatering!!"


Mark Tibbs
Boxing Trainer

"Our two Brit’s take the lead and I’m not being bias, BJS the best is yet to come, I truly believe there’s untouched magic still to appear, but Smith’s attributes could maybe - should - master all.

Time will tell who’s the Don; for me, Smith and Saunders share no1, Canelo 3, GGG 4."


Jack Bradley
BBN Writer

“The best fight to make at super middle is Canelo vs. Callum Smith. I like John Ryder, but Smith will run through him when they fight in November, and after that I believe he’ll pick up another belt at 168lbs - most likely by beating David Benavidez for the WBC. That sets up a ‘super fight’ with Canelo next year - probably around Canelo’s usual September date. Canelo will beat Kovalev next month too, and they’ll use him beating a top (but now fading) light heavyweight to drum up his chances against the massive Smith.

I can also see Canelo taking the third Golovkin fight in May, and finally dispatching GGG in a more convincing fashion, which will only add to the build up for a mouth-watering Canelo-Smith clash. As for who wins: Canelo is a tremendous boxer and a bonafide star, so I wouldn’t begrudge anybody who thinks he’ll have too much for Smith, but I think Smith has ‘come of age’ with this world title reign and will have enough to get past Canelo.

This leaves Billy Joe Saunders as the face that doesn’t fit, although that’s probably been the case all along anyway. Billy Joe is an excellent boxer and doesn’t offer a great deal of reward for how difficult a fight he is. If there’s a chance of fighting Golovkin - be it at super middle or middle - he needs to take it. Golovkin laboured to a win against Sergiy Derevyanchenko, and on that showing he looks as though Father Time may be catching up to him. If Saunders can get hold of Golovkin soon, I believe he’ll be victorious and, irrespective of Golovkin’s age, that’s a tremendous win.”


Mick Kane
Boxing Writer

"The only true super middle on the list is Callum Smith, I feel he would beat Billy Joe Saunders, due to size difference. Saunders I feel will move back to middleweight. Golovkin has never showed any inclination to move up in weight, just won another world title at middleweight and at 37 is he likely to want to move up and face bigger boxers, I would be surprised if he did.

We have seen Canelo move up to super middle but opted for what could have been perceived as the weakest link when he fought Rocky Fielding.  And again he has picked Kovalev at light heavy as again he is possibly the weakest out of the current champions.

I think Smith has the skills, the size difference and the belief to beat Canelo if it ever happens, so I would say Smith is best super middleweight."


Kieran Gething
Welsh Area super-lightweight champion

"I think the Billy Joe vs Golovkin fight is a great one and the Canelo vs Smith fight would be awesome, personally for me too with it going to Anfield!
If the winners were to fight I would imagine it would end up as Saunders vs Canelo and that would make a great fight for British fans and hopefully could be done in UK, if not, Vegas would be in for a party!"


Jack Hughes
Southern Area title contender

"For me, it has to be Callum Smith. There was a time when he was blasting everyone out in the first round and I was looking at this guy thinking he is an animal, he went on to have a couple not so great performances, but after seeing what he did to Groves, I just can’t see anyone beating him, he’s way too big and strong for that weight, the guy's a monster.

Canelo is too small for him, I think; Billy Joe should stick to middleweight, I can’t see anyone beating him down there, and GGG, for me, has had his time."


Sergio Michel
American singer/songwriter

"In a hypothetical "fair boxing world" Billy Joe routes them all, facing most trouble from GGG. In reality, since Canelo is involved, corrupt judges, lopsided pre-planned score cards and the corrupt promotional company that handles the red one; expect Canelo to win every match with a wide split decision. The bright side would be, he would vacate all the belts he gets or be stripped due to lack of defenses and GGG, Callum and Billy Joe can round-robin for the belts.

Canelo will eventually move on the Super Heavyweight anyway and succeed where Wilder, Fury, Ruiz and Joshua failed. To become the Undisputed, Unified Lineal Heavyweight Champ. Then he'll move down to straw weight!"


Ace Adam
Middleweight debutant

"I'd like to see Callum Smith versus Billy Joe Saunders; Billy Joe Saunders versus Chris Eubank Jr rematch; and Caleb Plant versus Chris Eubank Jr."


Tim Rickson
Sports Agent

"I'm not just saying this, but the two Brits are leading this pack, for me.

Billy Joe and Mundo have got the skills to beat both Canelo and GGG. Both Canelo and Golovkin have got that grit to overcome any adversity, but Saunders and Smith's skills, if deployed for the full 12 rounds, should beat them every time. Golovkin, at 37, is slowing down, so I think he should avoid the third fight with Canelo, he'll never get a fair trial so why bother. Callum Smith is too big for Canelo and beats him handily, for me.

I've been saying for ages that Billy Joe beats both Golovkin and Canelo, with his movement and speed, I just hope he gets to prove it soon.

Callum Smith is no.1, so they should all be fighting each other for the right to fight him."


Bolu Kareem
Middleweight debutant

"Billy Joe beats them all! His defence is so underrated, I feel he might have the best defence in boxing right now, definitely the best in the U.K. He is a very smart fighter and I feel that Billy Boe vs Callum Smith is the most needed fight right now to just prove who is the best because Callum Smith is another very serious fighter."