💻DAZN’s streaming platform on Saturday night will see the biggest name in boxing take on a Champion at his respective weight. Reigning Middleweight Champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (53-1-2, 36KO) will attempt to join short company as a 2-division Ring-Lineal simultaneous Champion, as he guns for unbeaten Super-Middleweight Champion of the World Callum “Mundo” Smith (27-0-0, 19KO), with his RING, and WBA Titles on the line, with the vacant WBC thrown into the pot as an extra trinket.
For those living under a 🪨rock, or being introduced to the sport, Canelo Alvarez is the biggest name currently going in boxing, as well as the biggest 💵cash cow in the sport. Coercing with his fame is him being viewed as a universally heralded top five Pound-4-Pound boxer, and one who is very well schooled overall in the trade of combat fighting.
His propensity to bounce around in ⚖️weight further supports his stature, and he is taking a big gamble against a peak, prime top-notch operator in Smith, one who towers over Alvarez, harboring at least a 6 inch height advantage, and an 8 inch reach advantage, which will make the visual optics of their fight a jarring one aesthetically to witness.
STRENGTHS OF BOTH CANELO AND SMITH
When we are discussing Canelo, the first things that come to mind is slick defense, counterpunching, and 🎯impeccable timing. Ranking with the best of the best in those categories throughout boxing, he is also one of the 3 best bodypunchers in the sport, and that is one trait that he will need to come in handy in order to walk home with the victory in hand.
For Callum Smith, he’s a 🗿giant, and he knows how to utilize his size. He has a thudding, sound, educated jab that he snaps, and uses it defensively as effectively as he does offensively, both as a range establisher, and as an evasion tactic. Callum has one of the greatest check-left hooks going right now. He has a good deal of handspeed, and like Canelo, he is one of the 🧠headiest boxers when it comes to the craft.
SCOPE ON CANELO ALVAREZ’S WEAKNESS
Now when it comes to weaknesses, in Alvarez case, the things to point towards are very miniscule. His biggest problem is that for whatever reason, he only fights chunks of a round instead of operating the full ⌚three minutes, sometimes stringing together combinations for only about a minute of the stanza, then stagnating the rest of the round.
Canelo tries to hide that strategically by consciously getting his opponent overly cautious of his nearly unrivaled ability to counter-punch, which is a smart way for Canelo Alvarez to go when it comes to the mental warfare inside of the ring.
That hurdle and 💨smokescreen can be evaded though if you have a quick, strong jab, outside foot positioning, and remaining defensively sound with arm placement to the point that you nullify Alvarez’s opportunity to land any return fire.
CALLUM SMITH’S DRAWBACKS IN ARSENAL
Callum is a surgical machine from the outside, but the same frame that allows him to be that force out there, disables him from having a strong, consistent inside game, becoming difficult for him to thwart off attacks where opponents get underneath his extended reach to get to the rib-cage.
He does rip a nice left hook to the body, but doesn’t follow up, and doesn’t fight well in clinches. One thing I’ve noticed from the John Ryder fight is that Smith willingly gives up too much real-estate, to where he often was trapped on the ropes and took punishment, instead of maintaining a tight circle and staying in the center of the ring to work his advantages.
CANELO AND CALLUM’S STRENGTHS TO NULLIFY THE WEAKNESSES AGAINST EACH
If you have those qualities specified above to bother Canelo, you can take advantage of his lulls in action by peppering him with the jab, and taking away his opportunities to land over it, or get underneath the elbow. You can see in his three fights with 🥈🇰🇿Gennadiy Golovkin, and 🇷🇺Sergey Kovalev that a variation of those attacks can be used to your advantage.
Interestingly enough, Golovkin has one of the greatest jabs in the sport, yet being of compact build, he doesn’t have a lot of range behind the shot, and Kovalev, while he authored up a lot of jabs in that fight, didn’t put any mustard behind them.
This will be the first time in Canelo’s career where he will face someone (talking about Callum) with both the range, thud, and the defensive responsibility of a bigger man in which Callum encompasses, and this will be a major test that Canelo will look to try and solve. Can he? yes, will he? I guess we will see.
Callum can actually make his height and reach a bigger asset by actually shrinking the target, meaning bending down to Canelo’s height and flicking the jab out there, that way it makes it increasingly difficult for Canelo to get underneath to the body, which is where he will need to be.
Anything Canelo shoots up to the head, Callum can prop back up to normal height, and and simultaneously move off to the side, to where Canelo’s shots would hit nothing but air. This is a tactic that 🇺🇸Errol Spence Jr. has mastered, and you seen him shut down 🇺🇸Mikey Garcia, and 🇺🇸Danny Garcia with it.
Callum can take a page out of his 📖book which is a great way to diffuse a 💣bomb. Also, Smith could set up mirages for Canelo thinking he can land a counter right hand, and Callum can use his vaunted check-hook to catch Alvarez coming in, unable to pick the punch off due to committing to the cross.
SOME HISORICAL FIGHT COMPARISON(S)
Both of these fights are from different time periods, but both harbor similar metrics of one much shorter, compacter fighter, against a tall, rangy, lanky power boxer. This can go one of two ways. The first example that I will roll out is a match from 1968, between Light-Heavyweight Champion of the World 🇳🇬Dick Tiger vs. the menacing 🇺🇸Bob Foster.
In this scenario, the tall, lanky boxer dislodged the smaller Champion by knockout with a left hook. Considering Callum hits hard, this could be a likely scenario, although Canelo possesses an iron chin, and has only been hurt by two men in his career (🥈🇰🇿Gennadiy Golovkin hurt him about 4 times in their 2 bouts, and 🇵🇷Jose Miguel Cotto had him in serious trouble).
Now the other scenario could be much more recent history, going back to 2018. In the Lightweight division, World Champion 🥇🥇🇺🇦Vasiliy Lomachenko, and fellow Gold-Medalist 🥇🇬🇧Luke Campbell exhibited a similar size disparity as the other two fights. In this scenario, the smaller, more compact fighter was able to use his guile, savvy, and skills to evade the bigger fighters power, and range, and Loma was able to overcome the metrics and defeat Campbell by decision.
NOW TO REVEAL MY PICK FOR THIS FIGHT
|| PREDICTION – With all of their components broken down, I do feel like this will be a pretty brutal fight, one that goes the distance. I also feel that despite both possessing quality chins, that each one will taste the canvas once in the fight, when? who knows, presumably in the middle rounds.
This fight I can conclude that if Callum controls distance on the outside with his length, or if Canelo can get behind the reach, then each has a great chance to get the win – it will all come down to ring generalship, and who is clever enough to enact their widely contrasting keys towards victory.
The fight will be close after 12 rounds, but ANY TIME close decisions, and Canelo are interwoven in the same picture, that it will favor Canelo, so through 36 minutes, I expect Canelo Alvarez to become the new Super-Middleweight Champ of the World, with the RING, WBA, and WBC straps around his shoulders and waist as a 2-division Ring-Lineal Champion.
( CANELO ALVAREZ VICTORY BY UD12 – A CLOSE “116-112” TYPE OF FIGHT – WITH WIDER SCORES THAN PERMISSABLE )