By News Team
18th December 2020
One of boxing’s strongest divisions takes centre stage on Saturday night, as Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, arguably the sport’s pound-for-pound king, takes on Britain’s Callum Smith for the vacant WBC super-middleweight title as well as Smith’s WBA (super) and The Ring belts.
It’s a fight that has been rumoured for years, and will finally come to a head from San Antonio, Texas, with Smith the underdog heading to foreign shores in his attempt to land the biggest win of his career.
We preview all the action and provide odds for what is set to be one of the biggest fights of 2020.
Canelo can remind everyone of his class
We haven’t seen Canelo since his knockout victory over Sergey Kovalev back in November 2019, and the Mexican should be refreshed from the break, having previously fought twice in both 2019 and 2018.
In theory this should be Alvarez’s biggest test since his back-to-back meetings with Gennadiy Golovkin, especially given that this is only Canelo’s second fight at 168lbs. If he does prevail though, Alvarez will add another impressive notch to his resume by becoming a four-weight world champion.
Many of the issues Canelo will need to overcome in this fight will be presented by Smith’s superior height and reach. If he can get inside of Smith, and get past his jab in the early rounds, he’ll likely find success in the fight.
We’ve seen in his recent bouts that he’s found joy with his jab to the body, and this will likely be another important weapon as he attempts to counteract an eight-inch reach deficit.
But Smith is no slouch
He may be the underdog on Saturday night, but disregard Callum Smith at your peril.
The unbeaten 30-year-old is arguably the man at 168lbs, having seen off John Ryder, Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam and George Groves in his last three fights.
Smith’s best chance in the fight is likely to be if he can establish his jab early on and keep Canelo at range. His extra reach should allow him to do this, but he’ll have to be light on his feet to keep Alvarez on the outside.
He has no choice but to try and control the tempo of the fight, something he failed to do against a similar sized John Ryder. He certainly has the ability to frustrate Canelo if he performs at his best, and is currently 7/2 to land a surprise win. Smith, meanwhile, is 5/1 to land a knockout and 9/1 to win by decision.
This is one not to be missed.