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  • Callum Smith — Canelo Alvarez is ‘a better 160 fighter than he is at 168’

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    • -…boxing reports for ESPN.co.uk and several national newspapers.
    • -covered British boxing for over 15 years.

-BoxNation’s boxing application.

Callum Smith insists that he has the size and ability to make Canelo Alvarez think about fighting above average weight.

The 1.80m English boxer defends his third WBA World Middleweight Superweight Championship title against Mexico’s 1.80m Alvarez on Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs), 30, won the world featherweight title in his last match when he switched to lightweights in November 2019, beating Sergey Kovalev in the 11th round. Knocked Out Round.

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But 30-year-old Smith (27-0, 19 KO), ESPN’s No. 1 at 168 pounds, is not sure that Alvarez is physically capable of beating the best in the upper middleweight division.

In my opinion, no, he’s not a super middleweight, Smith told ESPN. Yeah, he’s been there before, he fought Kovalev, but if you look at the super middleweight champions, they’re all big boys. Your skills can make up for that. We saw it with [Vasyl] Lomachenko [against Teofimo Lopez]. I think Canelo will fight me, I’ll be too big for him. But I’m not just a chunk, I have skills and abilities, I’ve shown that I belong in the world. If I can use my height and skill, I can beat Canelo by 168 pounds.

Smith, whose older brother Liam lost to Alvarez in the ninth round in 2016, insists that the victory of Alvarez over Kovalev does not prove that Alvarez can outperform the middleweight.

There were parts of the fight where he was not special, and Kovalev was a bit lazy, which helped Canelo, and maybe it was his plan to be late, Smith said. Kovalev is a very good fighter, a strong fighter, but Canelo did what Canelo does and deserves the honor for this victory. But he didn’t dominate every round against Kovalev, and that says a lot about respecting his power. Stylistically, I’m different and I think I can beat Alvarez if I do my best.

Fault! The file name is not specified. ESPN Smith, the WBA Super Middleweight Champion (), is the number one in the division. George Wood/Getty Images

Smith also knows that size is an advantage when used correctly. Alvarez won the regular WBA Super Middleweight title two years ago by beating Rocky Fielding (6’3) and dominated every second of the three rounds that the fight lasted.

You have to use what you’re good at, and being a bigger boxer isn’t good if you don’t use it to your advantage, Smith said. I’m sure he can shrink the ring, and I need to work on it. But I believe I’ve reached this level because of my abilities…. I can beat him. I think he’s better with 160 fighters than 168, and a good big one beats a small one.

The preparation for this fight has been a little different, as Smith only learned last month that Alvarez would be his opponent. He admits it’s not a good time for him after Alvarez left the DAZN streaming service and promoter Golden Boy at the beginning of November.

Callum Smith — Canelo Alvarez is ‘a better 160 fighter than he is at 168’

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I just wanted to end this year with a fight, I didn’t think it would be Canelo, Smith said. But then everything changed. The Canelo fight has been mentioned several times already, so I didn’t expect it until it was announced. I prepared independently from Canelo and worked hard all year at the gym.

Smith said he had worked hard to win the title and wanted to make sure he was ready to face a fighter with the skills of Alvarez. So he stayed on hold.

He’s a very good fighter: He can box on the back foot, he has good head movements, he has good sideways movements, he’s smart, he’s strong, and I’ll be ready for the toughest fight of my career, but I think I’m going to beat him,” Smith said. If I deliver what I can, I’ll beat him.

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