WBA (Super), vacant WBC World Super Middleweight Title Fight: Canelo Alvarez vs. Callum Smith (TV: DAZN)
Saturday, December 19th, Prelims 8:00 PM ET (DAZN), Main Card 11:00 PM ET (DAZN), Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
WBA (Super), vacant WBC World Super Middleweight Title Fight: Canelo Alvarez (53-1-2) vs. Callum Smith (27-0)
Fight odds: Canelo Alvarez -650 Callum Smith +425
Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin are inexorably linked because of their two close fights back in 2017 and 2018. Hopefully, a trilogy fight happens between the two best middleweights (160 lbs.) in the sport in 2021. The top 5 middleweights on ESPN are 1) Canelo Alvarez 2) Gennady Golovkin 3) Jermall Charlo 4) Demetrius Andrade 5) Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Gennady Golovkin looked like his old destroyer self against Kamil Szeremeta this past Friday working behind his trademark powerful jab to land a myriad of hooks, uppercuts and power punches to dominate an overmatched opponent.
Golovkin looked to be in tremendous physical shape and fought like a young man, belying his 38 years of age. With this stellar performance he looks ready to take on the best of challengers and if he doesn’t get Alvarez next, perhaps a fight with Jermall Charlo could happen. Golovkin has thudding power and all the punches that make for a true power puncher and it all starts with his jab, footwork and great fundamentals built through a lengthy amateur and pro career that forged him into one of the most feared boxers in the sport.
Golovkin’s defense, head movement and ability to slip out of the way of punches impressed just as much as his offensive output against Szeremeta. The fight was stopped by the referee after the 7th Round because Golovkin had knocked down Szeremeta 4 times over the course of the fight and was giving him a tremendous beating. Golovkin seems to be getting better with age and should build off this performance going into his next fight. The menacing Golovkin is always on balance and fights with a certain calm and confidence that must put fear into his opponents.
The great Mexican champion, Canelo Alvarez faces a tough challenge going up to super middleweight (168 lbs.) to fight Callum Smith on Saturday. Canelo Alvarez is 30, 5’9 and 168 lbs. with a 70.5 inch reach. Callum Smith is 30, 6’3 and 168 lbs. with a 78 inch reach. The top 5 super middleweights on ESPN are 1) Callum Smith 2) Caleb Plant 3) David Benavidez 4) Billy Joe Saunders 5) Anthony Dirrell. Alvarez fighting the #1 super middleweight in Callum Smith shows that he wants to challenge himself and isn’t satisfied with only fighting at middleweight.
Alvarez’s most recent fight was at light heavyweight (175 lbs.) and he knocked out Sergey Kovalev in the 11th Round back in November of 2019. This performance against a quality bigger fighter shows that Alvarez can fight and beat larger fighters because of his hip and head movement. Kovalev was able to keep Alvarez on the outside for a majority of their fight, but eventually Alvarez found a way inside and took full advantage of that opportunity with the knockout. Alvarez may also have the best body punches in the sport and will need to utilize this against the taller and rangier Callum Smith. Alvarez utilized punishing body shots to knock out the taller Rocky Fielding in the 3rd Round and should employ a similar tactic on Saturday night.
Callum Smith needs to use his jab and stay busy throwing a lot of punches to attempt to keep Alvarez on the outside. Callum Smith rose to stardom after winning the World Boxing Super Series in September of 2018 when he knocked out George Groves in the 7th Round in a matchup of two great British boxers. This fight effectively retired George Groves since his loss to Callum Smith was his last professional fight. Alvarez previously fought Callum Smith’s older brother, Liam Smith in 2016 at 154 lbs. and knocked him out in the 9th Round. In order to avoid a similar fate as his brother, Callum Smith will need to utilize his height and reach advantages to make Alvarez frustrated and throw power punches that will hurt Alvarez and stop him from coming inside and landing his own offense.
Both boxers are 30 years old, but Alvarez has 56 professional fights, while the undefeated Callum Smith has 27 professional fights. This vast advantage in experience for Alvarez coupled with his knockout wins over significantly bigger fighters like Rocky Fielding and Sergey Kovalev are why Alvarez should get the win against Callum Smith. Alvarez is difficult to hit, even at close range because of his upper body movement and Callum Smith will be a big target for him especially his large torso which should get peppered with body shots throughout the fight. This should be a close and competitive fight that Alvarez wins by split decision. Tune into DAZN to see if Canelo Alvarez can conquer Callum Smith, the best super middleweight in the sport. If Canelo Alvarez has a statement performance, expect to see Alvarez and Golovkin in a third fight.