WBA Super World super middleweight champion Callum Smith weighed in at 168 pounds for his fight against Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night, LIVE on DAZN from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
For his part, Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) also weighed in at 168lbs and looked considerably slimmer than he did in his last fight against WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in November 2019.
Canelo will need to raise his game for the fight against Smith because he’s not old and past it like the 37-year-old Kovalev, and he won’t run out of gas and lay on the ropes the way the Russian fighter did in the 11th.
Canelo, 30, and Smith are headlining on DAZN on Saturday night in front of a crowd expected to be 12,000 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
It’s going to be interesting to see how the 5’8″ Canelo deals with the height and reach of the 6’4″ Smith in this fight because he’s never fought anyone this big.
Against the 6’2″ Kovalev, Canelo looked too small, and he struggled when the Russian fighter let his hands go. Luckily for Canelo, Kovalev rarely threw punches and fought like he was intentionally carrying the Mexican star.
Other weights on the Canelo – Smith card
Frank Sanchez 229 vs. Julian Fernandez 209.2
Raymond Ford 128.6 vs. Juan Antonio Lopez 129.2
Austin “Ammo” Williams 159.4 vs. Isiah Jones 157
Marc Castro 130.6 vs. Luis Javier Valdes 128.8
Hearn predicts Alvarez’s next fight
Eddie Hearn predicts Alvarez will choose to face WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) or Gennadiy Golovkin next in 2021 if he comes out victorious on Saturday night against WBA super-middleweight champion Smith.
Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) wants to unify the 168lb division, and it would be an easy fight for Hearn to set-up in matching the Mexican superstar against Saunders, who he also promotes and fights on DAZN.
The U.S boxing fans want to see Canelo fight Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) again, and they don’t care too much about seeing him face Sanders, who is more of a finesse fighter with a spoiling style of fighting.
Golovkin thinks it’s too premature to talk about fighting Canelo because the two fighters still need to win their next fights. GGG is facing Kamil Szeremeta tonight on DAZN, and it’s not a given that he’ll win.
Golovkin also wonders whether DAZN will pay the money to see him and Canelo fight. The two popular stars will be looking for massive money for their third fight, and it’s unclear whether DAZN will be able to come up with green to make them happy.
“I believe it’s hard to talk about a future fight while we have other fights ahead of us. Can or will DAZN pay?” said Golovkin to The Athletic.
Brits will love seeing Canelo face Saunders, but DAZN will wind up getting only a fraction of new subscribers for that fight than a Canelo-GGG III trilogy.
Canelo has the misguided perception that unifying the 168-lb division will validate him in the casual boxing fans’ eyes. That’s not the case.
Casual fans have no idea who the different champions are, and they’d be shocked to learn that each division has three to four belt-holders.
“What I’ve learned about Canelo Alvarez and [trainer/manager] Eddy Reynoso is they’ll fight anyone. They have no fear,” said Eddie Hearn to DAZN. “They go into this fight this Saturday [against Smith], it’s quite scary.
“I look at our guy, Callum Smith, 6’4,” punches tough head to the body, and has a fantastic jab, and can do everything.
“It’s not that they [Team Canelo] don’t respect him, but the confidence that they have within their team is like, ‘We have no problems with this, don’t worry.’
“That’s quite scary within itself. With the GGG fight, the problem is, if Canelo Alvarez wins this fight [against Smith], they’re going to want to move very quickly on to the next one.
“This is what they’re like. They’re reactive [read: proactive] people. So it’s like the buzz of the challenge, ‘What’s next?’
“And if they don’t fight GGG, they fight [WBO super middleweight champion] Billy Joe Saunders. He [Canelo] will look at the 168-pound division and say, ‘Okay, I got the WBC, I got the WBA, I got the Ring Magazine belt.
‘I’m two belts away from being undisputed. So I’ve got Billy Joe Saunders next and Caleb Plant. Caleb Plant is fighting in January.
‘We know that Matchroom has Billy Joe Saunders. We can do this now.’
“But I think if they’re [Team Canelo] are successful on Saturday; they’re going to want to move at speed. Whether Golovkin can move at the same speed to get it done for May, that’s what we’ve got to try and bring together.
“At the same time, I look at Callum Smith, our guy, and I want him to do the business. He can win this fight; he really can.
“But from a DAZN, I know what you guys are thinking and what the executives are thinking. ‘We want GGG against Canelo Alvarez in number three.’ It’s one of the biggest fights in the world,” said Hearn.
It’s easy to predict that Canelo will face Saunders or Golovkin next, as they’re both with DAZN Matchroom Boxing. The IBF super-middleweight champion Caleb Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) already has a fight scheduled for January 30th against Caleb Truax, so he’s out of the equation.
Joshua – Fury could be without all titles
“We keep having this conversation about belts,” said Hearn. “I did a piece during the press conference, and I’m getting a little bit sick and tired of the politics and the problems in making fights because of belts.
“It’s difficult because every fighter wants to win belts they’ve always dreamed of. So, it’s hard to convince a fighter to drop belts and not worry about that for the bigger picture.
“It comes down to like Fury – Joshua where you’ve got the WBO saying, ‘He’s got to fight Usyk,’ and you’ve got Usyk saying, ‘How much are you going to give me to allow this [Joshua vs. Fury].’
“In the end, it’s like, we all know the winner of Fury vs. Joshua is the best heavyweight on the planet, right? We really want it to be undisputed because that was always the dream, but at what point do you go, ‘We’re writing you a check, all of you guys, for millions of dollars,’ and Usyk is saying, ‘How many millions am I getting?’
“You go, ‘Do you know what? We’ll do it [Joshua – Fury] anyway [without all the titles],” said Hearn,
It sounds like Hearn is trying to get the World Boxing Organization to give in and let Joshua ignore his WBO mandatory Oleksandr Usyk to steer around him for the entire 2021.
The fans probably won’t mind, but when they stop to think that Usyk has already been bypassed twice previously by Joshua, it’s a little jarring. How do you call yourself the WBO champion when you dodge your mandatory challenger for years on end?
Hearn now wants Usyk to wait for all of 2021 to have a chance to potentially fight the winner of the two Joshua vs. Fury fights in 2022. I say ‘potentially’ because whoever is the last man standing from the Joshua-Fury fights could vacate the WBO, leaving Usyk with nothing to show for having to wait out the entire year.
Exhibition & YouTuber fights are delivering the numbers.
“I think when you talk about Canelo, Canelo respects the belts, Canelo loves the belts,” Hearn continued. “But at the same time, Canelo wants challenges, and we can’t let belts get in the way, and mandatories get in the way of making these great fights.
“Boxing has a problem right now where the paymasters, the broadcasters, want numbers, and what’s delivering numbers right now?
“Great fights or exhibitions or YouTubers, and if we in boxing don’t start making these big fights, that’s going to become the norm.
“And for someone that has been around boxing since I was seven, I would hate that, even though I did Logan Paul against KSI, and it was a great experience.
“To do that every week, I’d walk away from the sport, honestly, regardless of the money because I love boxing.
“But if we don’t deliver the product for the broadcaster, they will ask for things that do deliver the numbers. So Errol Spence against Terence Crawford, get it made. AJ against Tyson Fury, get it made, and Devin Haney against [Teofimo] Lopez, get it made.
“GGG against Canelo is the only way boxing is going to survive because boxing is bigger than all of those exhibitions and all of those huge YouTube events.
“But we don’t get the consistency of all those great fights. But now we’ve got the excuse coming from the pandemic to say, ‘Sorry, mate, you’ve got to fight this guy, and if you don’t, then maybe we part company.’
“But our broadcasters are saying, ‘Ryan Garcia against Luke Campbell, the winner has to fight Devin Haney, right? That’ it, that’s the fight, and if you don’t like it, mate, off you go, there’s the door.’
“Look, the money has got to be great for those kinds of fights because we’ve got to respect the fighters and make sure we get them what they deserve.
“But we can’t let managers, advisers, and trainers; their job, managers and adviser’s job, is to get their fighters the easiest fights for the most amount of money,” said Hearn.