Former WBA super-middleweight champion Callum Smith is predicting that Canelo Alvarez won’t be beaten by anyone with the way he’s fighting right now.
Smith says the only way he sees Canelo losing is if he returns to the 175-lb division, but he’s no longer showing interest in fighting in that division after his victory over Sergey Kovalev.
Callum was embarrassed by Canelo, losing to him by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision last month on December 19th. Whatever chance that the 6’2″ Smith had of winning, he lost it by fighting with his back against the ropes against the shorter 5’8″ Canelo.
It was the worst possible way a taller fighter could fight against a shorter guy, and Smith never attempted to make adjustments in the fight by taking it to the center of the ring. Canelo ended up winning by these lopsided scores: 117-111, 119-109, and 119-109.
Smith now is considering the possibility of moving up to 175, but he’s not certain yet if he’ll do that. Given the way Smith has looked in his last two fights against Canelo and John Ryder, he won’t be any better off at light-heavyweight than he was at super-middleweight.
If Smith fights with his back against the ropes at 175 against Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith, he’s going to get laid out.
Smith: No one beats Canelo
“I don’t think anyone beats him. He may only lose if he keeps going up in weight, but he’s put a stop to that. His defence is just too good,” said Callum Smith about Canelo in Toe-2-Toe Podcast.
“He said 160 and 168 are his two fights. It’s too hard to hit him clean, and you’ve got to land clean to put a dent in him,” said Smith.
Many boxing fans would disagree with Smith about his belief that Canelo can’t be beaten. He already has by Floyd Mayweather Jr, and he arguably was beaten by Gennadiy Golovkin, Erislandy Lara, and Austin Trout. Additionally, the rematch with GGG looked like a draw, and not a win for Canelo.
Canelo can be outsmarted, but you’re not going to do it. You fight with your back against the ropes for 12 rounds the way Callum Smith did.
That’s more like a sparring partner than a world champion, and it shows you that Smith wasn’t as good as some boxing fans originally thought. If Smith’s trainer had told him to get off the ropes, he might have had a chance to win that fight.
You got to blame the trainer just as much as Smith for how poorly he fought against Alvarez.
Of the current super middleweights in the division, Canelo loses to these fighters:
- Edgar Berlanga
- Caleb Plant
- Billy Joe Saunders
- David Benavidez
- Jermall Charlo – if he moves up to 168
Daniel Jacobs came close to beating Canelo in their fight in 2019. Canelo barely beat Jacobs, who isn’t a great fighter, and would likely get smashed to pieces by Berlanga and Benavidez.
Canelo can be beaten, but you can’t fight stupidly and expect to come out on top. If you fight like you have no common sense the way Callum Smith did against Alvarez and Ryder, you’re going to lose every tune.
Canelo doesn’t have long before he’s beaten. He’ll likely win his next fight against Avni Yildirim in February, but he’s going to be up against it next May when he takes on Billy Joe Saunders. Canelo could get schooled in that fight.
Alvarez, not a huge puncher
“No. He can obviously punch, but his power wasn’t ridiculous,” said Callum. “I remember Groves hit me, and I thought: ‘I don’t want to take one of those on the chin’.
Canelo has better than average power, but he’s not in the same league as Gennady Golovkin, David Benavidez, and Edgar Berlanga. He’s a smart fighter with great boxing skills and good enough power to beat most of the guys he faces.
George Groves was definitely a better puncher than Canelo with either hand, and the same goes for Carl Froch. Those retired fighters had excellent power, and they were real super-middleweights.
Smith would fight Canelo differently
“If I got another chance I’d gamble early,” said Smith. “Fight fire with fire. I’d take more chances and be the bigger man. I’d have to do something different because what I did do didn’t work.
“He took away my best asset,” said Smith about his left arm. “Things didn’t go my way from the very start. I knew was targeting it from the first round,” said Smith.
It disappointing that Callum Smith didn’t try something different during the fight instead of waiting until weeks later to talk about how he would do something different if given another chance.
If Smith’s trainer didn’t tell him to get off the ripes during the fight, he needs to give him the boot, and find a coach that understands the game. How any trainer in the game could let Smith fight the way he did against Canelo is mindboggeling.
It was easy for Canelo to target Smith’s left arm because he covered up on the ropes. If he’d stayed in the center of the rng, stayed on the outside, and moved, Canelo wouldn’t have been able to reach him.
Callum still suffering arm pain
“Certain movements I still get pain in. It doesn’t need operating, I just need rest,” said Smith.
“175 is an option,” said an undecided Callum.
Let that be a lesson to Smith; you don’t fight with your back against the ropes against anyone, least of all against a superstar with respectable power like Canelo.
It’s not a good idea for Smith to move up to light-heavyweight because the top guys in the division have too much power.
If a punching bag like Smith faces one of the top guys like Beterbiev, Joe Smith Jr, or Dmitry Bivol, he’s going to get knocked out.
It’s predictable how Smith would react to getting knocked out by those fighters. He’ll realize that he needs to move back down to 168, where he can mostly get away with fighting with his back against the ropes.
But even at 168, if Smith fights against Benavidez and Berlanga the way he did against Canelo, he’ll get stopped. He’ll make easy work of him.