Callum Smith (27-0, 19 KOs) says he’s going to be using his jab tonight to keep Canelo Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) at range to prevent him from landing body shots on the inside when they battle it out live on DAZN at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Smith, 6’4″, feels it’s pointless to have a big height and reach advantage over the 5’8″ Canelo if he’s not going to utilize it.
He doesn’t want Canelo to walk up on him the entire fight and start hitting him with his best body shots.
But Smith says he’s going to make Canelo pay each time he attempts to get inside, as he’s going to hit him back with his own body shots. Callum feels he’s got enough power to give Canelo a lot of problems.
Canelo has been hurt to the body by lesser punchers than Smith, so it’ll be interesting to see how he reacts to getting hit. Floyd Mayweather Jr and Austin Trout both hurt Canelo with body shots and looked unnerved by the experience.
After Trout hurt Canelo with a body shot, the Mexican star spent the entire second half of the contest fighting with his back against the ropes.
Callum confident of victory
“It’s hard because he’s boxed so many different styles, and he’s shown that he can do a bit of everything,” said Callum Smith to Gareth Davies when asked how he plans on beating Alvarez.
“He’s good on the back foot, he’s quite elusive, and has excellent head movement. Against Rocky Fielding and Kovalev, he kind of walked forward and tried to use his physical strength to get them out of there early.
“I’ve got to expect all different forms of Canelo Alvarez and make sure the best version of me steps through those ropes.
“I’ve always felt the best version of me beats anyone in the world. I believe I beat anyone, and that includes Canelo. He’s a very good fighter.
“I remember speaking to my brother Liam just after he fought him [in 2016], and he basically said he’s not the hardest puncher as people think.
“He’s very accurate, and he finds gaps and holes in your defense. That’s a sign of a good fighter. We’re all big, and we can all throw shots.
“It’s the fighters that can find gaps that are hard to find; they’re the top-level fighters.
“And you kind of realize that you’re going to get caught with shots that you didn’t when you were coming through the lower levels.,” said Callum Smith.
Many boxing fans believe that Canelo will work his way inside on Callum and take him out with a body shot as he did with his brother Liam Smith and Rocky Fielding.
Callum at least has an advantage that he knows what Canelo will be trying to do, and he’ll have worked on a good game plan to negate his attacks.
What Canelo can’t afford is to get wreckless while throwing body shots because Smith has an excellent left hook that he throws with massive ower.
If he catches Canelo with that punch, he’ll put him to sleep or hurt him to the body.
Canelo is a counter puncher, so he likes to throw his left hook when his opponents are firing power shots. However, Canelo struggles when his opponents throw more than one punch at a time. Like most counter punchers, Canelo can counter one shot, but after that, he’s just like any fighter, taking hits and trying to throw back.
If Smith can overwhelm Canelo’sability to counter by throwing many shots, he could wear him out and score a knockout.
Smith to use his jab to keep Canelo away
“I just need to make sure I’m switched on, and I believe with my game plan, I can do enough to win,” said Smith on the key to beating Canelo.
“Obviously, after I beat him, it would be nice to get the rematch like I was with Groves and Paul [Smith]. Outside of that, it doesn’t make the fight any bigger for me.
“It’s huge. It’s a massive fight as it is, and it’s definitely an exciting one. Like I’ve said before, you’ve got to expect anything from Canelo Alvarez, and I’ve got an answer for everything.
“I’ve never fought anyone like him, and he’s never fought anyone like me. How good is he? We’ll see how good I am.
“I’ve got to. It’s pointless having that much of a size advantage if you’re not going to try and use it,” Callum said when asked if he plans on using his size advantage.
“Again, I do understand that the fight swaps and changes. There will be times where you have to fight on the inside. I can’t just fall apart if it gets close.
“I’ve got to learn to fight both ways, and I feel I have. If I let him go in and tee off on me, what’s the point of being 6’3?
“I’ve got to use my height advantage as much as I can, but I’ve got to do a bit of everything as well.
“It’s got to be,” said Smith when asked if his jab will be important in this fight. “He’s got a very good jab himself. I’ve got to make my jab known in this fight.
“I can’t just let him touch me and finding his range with his own jab. I’ve got to get my jab off myself. Joe Joyce’s jab was very good against Dubois.
“A jab on its own is a very effective shot. If I can’t win rounds, I can’t win fights. It gives your opponent something to think about when you have a good jab.
“Getting my own jab off is important for the fight, especially early on,” said Callum.
Using a jab is clearly the easiest way of beating Canelo, but Smith will need to do more than that for him to win.
We saw Gennadiy Golovkin, Trout, and Erislady Lara jab Canelo at will and seemingly beat him, but the judges failed to give them the win. You can argue that the judges expect more of opponents when they face the superstar Canelo.
In other words, you’re not going to be given a win if all you do is jab Canelo like Floyd Mayweather Jr did. You’re going to need to fight him and get the better of him at his own game.
Callum will answer Canelo’s body shots
“Obviously, he’s a very good body puncher,” said Smith about Canelo’s ability to go to the body.
“Yeah, I’m looking forward to that part of the fight. I’ve got to look out for that. He’s proven himself to be a very good body puncher.
“I’m excited to give him some [body shots] back and not go into a shell up close.
“Let some go, and make him think twice about walking up to me and letting his body shots go,” Callum said about his plans on throwing his own body shots.
“It’s an exciting fight, and there are so many different ways it can go. That’s why I’m excited about being at this level.
“Every fight is different. Every fight is exciting, and I know I’ve got to get it perfect to win, and that’s what I’ve always felt,” said Smith.
It’ll be fascinating if Callum can beat Canelo at his own game by outworking him with body shots and scoring a stoppage. If you watched how Callum destroyed George Groves, it’s easy to see him beating Canelo as well if he fights aggressively and focuses on his power game.
Smith needs to know that he’s going to need to go to war tonight if he wants to win. Canelo is the face of boxing, which obviously counts when it comes to scoring his fights by the judges.