Let’s not beat around the bush. If you follow boxing, you’re probably more than aware that nobody asked for Canelo vs Smith, and certainly not the PPV tag. Since Golden Boy Promotions’ hottest property is regressing here by facing an unproven prospect in Liam Smith, there’s just not that much to love. Golovkin vs Canelo is the best fight to be made in boxing, but 2016 has seen some pretty weird fights come together so far.
First, Canelo Alvarez knocked Amir Khan into oblivion in May, then Gennady Golovkin beat his own bulked up Welter in Kell Brook last weekend. So, the world’s top Middleweights just aren’t facing each other (let’s not get into the politics). And now, Canelo, who recently relinquished his WBC 160 crown, is actually dropping back down to 154 to face a vastly inexperienced foe.
But since this is the weekend’s biggest event (I’m lying – the silent giant is actually Glowacki vs Usyk), let’s look at some reasons why Canelo vs Smith ‘could’ be better than most of us believe.
Smith is quite deservedly an underdog in this meeting. Oh, yes. The 28-year-old Liverpudlian picked up the WBO Junior Middleweight strap after trouncing a capable yet questionable name in John Thompson, and made defenses against weaker challengers in Jimmy Kelly and Predrag Radosevic. OK, here comes the ‘buts…’.
Just because Smith hasn’t been in with a legitimate force doesn’t mean he can’t handle one. Or, even though it seems like a huge stretch, Canelo Alvarez. Smith, one of four prizefighting brothers (which includes uber 168 prospect Callum Smith), has boxing coursing through his veins. While it’s true Liam is an unproven world champion, what we’ve witnessed so far has been both promising and exciting, with his last eight wins coming by knockout. Smith’s unbeaten, in his prime, loves to fight (check out that gnarly grin against Thompson), so, you know, it’s not all bad.
Joe Gallagher, The RING’s 2015 Trainer of the Year, will be in the Smith corner. Gallagher has a wealth of experience behind him, let’s make no mistake, and is known for being a meticulous, diligent strategist outside the ropes. Scott Quigg and Anthony Crolla are just some of his mainstream charges who’ve made their marks on the world stage in 2016.
So, Smith has boxing in his blood and an esteemed trainer behind him. Anything else? Well, there’s not a whole lot more to squeeze out of this thing, except for the fact that Smith, like Kell Brook at the weekend, won’t be turning in just to make up the numbers. Smith is a technically sound boxer-puncher who likes to get stuck in and let bombs fly, particularly to the body. And against a beast like Canelo, who apparently enters the ring ‘big’, this warrior spirit and fighting style could prove effective.
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got. Should you fork out for the $60 price tag on HBO? Hey, that’s down to you – I’m just trying to spin a few positives out of this bizarre matchup. End of the day, this event is happening, like it or not, so let’s just hope it exceeds expectations.
Check out HBO’s Canelo vs Smith Final Press Conference Recap:
Canelo vs Smith: Fight Night Lowdown
Fight Time & TV Channel
You can catch all the fight night action from 9:00pm ET on HBO PPV and 1:00am GMT on Boxnation, with Sadam Ali kicking off the broadcast in a Welterweight comeback against Saul Coral.
Canelo vs Smith: Undercard
- Gabriel Rosado vs Willie Monroe Jr – 12 rounds, Middleweight
- Joseph Diaz vs Andrew Cancio – 10 rounds, Featherweight
- Diego De La Hoya vs Luis Orlando Del Valle – 10 rounds, Junior Featherweight
- Eddie Gomez vs Dario Ferman – 10 rounds, Welterweight
- Sadam Ali vs Saul Coral – 10 rounds, Welterweight
Canelo vs Smith: Extended Tale of the Tape, Facts & Stats
Note: Advantageous stats are indicated in red (some may be subjective), and championship stats refer to ‘fully fledged world titles’ only.
Canelo Alvarez vs Liam Smith
Jalisco, Mexico … Liverpool, England
26 … 28
5’ 9” … 5′ 10″
71″ … Unobtainable
Orthodox … Orthodox
2005 … 2008
49 … 24
Wins / Defeats / Draws / KOs
47-1-1, 33 KO … 23-0-1, 13 KO
67% (33) … 54% (13)
Last 5 Fights
5-0, 3 KO … 5-0, 5 KO
Last 10 Fights
10-0, 5 KO … 10-0, 8 KO
Knockouts 1 – 6
25 … 9
Knockouts 7 – 12
8 … 4
Defeats by Knockout
0 … 0
0 … 0
332 … 126
8 … 2
Current Winning Streak
5 … 24
Undefeated Fighters Defeated
4 … 1
Amir Khan (KO 6) … Predrag Radosevic (KO 2)
World Title Bout Experience
Wins / Defeats / Draws / KOs
9-1, 4 KO … 3-0, 3 KO
7 … 2
Longest Championship Reign
03/2011 – 09/2013 … 10/2015 – 06/2016
Major Titles Won
WBC, WBA (154 lbs), WBC (160) … WBO (154 lbs)
Major Titles Currently Held
None (WBC 160 lbs vacated) … WBO (154 lbs)
Boxing Base Top 10 World Ranking
No.2 (160 lbs) … No.8 (154 lbs)
CANELO: Amir Khan (KO 6), Miguel Cotto (UD 12), James Kirkland (KO 3), Erislandy Lara (SD 12), Alfredo Angulo (TKO 10), Floyd Mayweather (LOSS: MD 12), Austin Trout (UD 12), Josesito Lopez (TKO 5), Shane Mosely (UD 12), Kermit Cintron (TKO 5), Alfonso Gomez (TKO 6), Ryan Rhodes (TKO 12), Matthew Hatton (UD 12), Lovemore Ndou (UD 12), Carlos Baldomir (KO 6), Luciano Cuello (TKO 6), Jose Cotto (TKO 9)
SMITH: Predrag Radosevic (KO 2), Jimmy Kelly (TKO 7), John Thompson (TKO 7), Zoltan Sera (TKO 3), Jason Welborn (KO 6), Mark Thompson (TKO 4)
What’s your take on BB’s Canelo vs Smith Tale of the Tape, Facts & Stats? And how do you see the action playing out at the weekend? We’ll have Live Results Coverage here on Boxing Base, plus Live Round by Round Updates via @BoxingBase.