Edgar Berlanga says he’ll make easy work of Canelo Alvarez’s recent opponent, former WBA super-middleweight Callum Smith, and stop him in six rounds.
Callum showed the fighting ability that one would see from a lower-level fighter.
Going into the fight with Canelo, Callum’s best career wins were against these fighters:
- George Groves – coming off shoulder surgery when he fought Smith in 2018
- Rocky Fielding – chin issues
- Luke Blackledge
- Erik Skoglund – inexperienced
- Nieky Holzken – Who?
- Hadillah Mohoumadi
- Christopher Rebrasse
- Vladine Biosse
- Nikola Sjekloca
Smith’s best win of his career is arguably Fielding because Groves was shot by the time he fought him in 2018.
#6 WBA Berlanga (16-0, 16 KOs) obviously wasn’t impressed with what he saw from Smith (27-1, 19 KOs) last Saturday night in his one-sided 12 round unanimous decision defeat to Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
During the last two weeks of the build-up to the fight with the 30-year-old Callum, Canelo repeatedly told the media that he picked him as his opponent because he’s the #1 fighter in the 168-lb division.
“I would have stopped [Callum] Smith within six rounds,” said Edgar Berlanga on social media in reacting to Canelo’s easy win over an amateurish looking Callum Smith last Saturday.
“Canelo looked really good. Me and his style of fighting will be a mega-fight, mark my words!!! When you’re a strong fighter and can box and punch, now that’s dangerous. I’m that type of fighter,” said Berlanga.
You can argue that Berlanga is being very generous to Callum Smith by saying that he would make it six rounds with him.
The way that Smith fights like a sparring partner in backing up against the ropes for extended periods of time in each round, he likely wouldn’t see the second round if he fought like that against Berlanga.
Many boxing fans disagreed with Canelo, pointing out that Smith had struggled in his previous fight in beating a very average fighter John Ryder by a controversial 12 round unanimous decision in November 2019.
Smith fought exactly the same against Canelo, and he lost by the scores 117-111, 119-109, and 119-109. Callum covered up on the ropes for 12 rounds, rarely used his jab, and showed little interest in fighting in the center of the ring.
He fought like a rank amateur and not like a world champion. Smith fought so poorly that it reflected badly on Canelo for cherry-picking him for a fight rather than taking on one of the good 168-pounders like Berlanga, Caleb Plant Bektemir Melikuziev.
At the end of the fight, it looked like another case of Canelo having cherry-picked another poor champion. In Canelo’s recent fight last year in November, he picked out WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev rather than IBF/WBC champ Artur Beterbiev or WBA champ Dimitry Bivol.
Smith would likely fall apart in a round or two against Berlanga.
Ryan Garcia defends Canelo
“I think Berlanga probably would have, but Berlanga doesn’t know if someone survives what he does, and he might punch himself out,” said Ryan Garcia to ESNEWS.
“Canelo is good at saving his energy and being compact. In case Canelo had to go to a different gear, he really would.
“You have to remember these guys haven’t seen what it’s really like in there. Canelo fought really compact; he didn’t waste any punches on defense,” said Ryan.
Garcia is right about Berlanga. We don’t know how he’d respond in a fight that went past the first round, but it’s easy to predict that he’d perform a lot better than what we saw from Callum Smith.
As poorly as Smith fought against Canelo, he set a low bar with that effort, and it would be easy for Berlanga to do well against him.