Straight after his excellent win over Daniel Jacobs, Saul Alvarez expressed an interest in moving up to 168lbs to challenge the No1 in the division Callum Smith, a fight that some see as being a step too far for the WBC, WBA, and IBF 160lb champion.
While Alvarez is enjoying a well-earned rest from the rigors of boxing, Smith will make the 1st defence of his WBA Super Super-middleweight strap at Madison Square Garden on June the 1st on the undercard of the Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz bout.
Smith will be facing former WBA regular Middleweight champion Hassan N’Dam of France who’s last outing was a surprise win in Manchester against 4 time world title challenger Martin Murray. The Frenchman has only lost 3 of his 40 professional bouts, many fans remembering his epic effort against Peter Quillin for the WBO Middleweight title in 2012. N’dam was knocked down on six occasions and still made a close fight of it, even if the ringside judges didn’t think so.
In Smith N’Dam will be facing a much bigger opponent than Quillin or Murray. At 6’ 3”, the Liverpudlian is freakishly tall for the weight and has a surprising ability to beat shorter fighters on the inside despite his long arms. Smith will have far more pop in his punches than the middleweights that the 35-year-old N’Dam has faced during his career, ensuring a hard night is in store for the battle hardened Frenchman.
Because of N’Dam’s ability to take big punches and recover, the fight may go into the later stages but I expect the big-hitting Englishman to get his opponent out of there in the last quarter of the fight.
Seeing that Canelo is the highest paid boxer in the world Smith would have to concede to fight on the Mexican’s terms if contracts were ever to be signed. Since 2011 Canelo has fought twice a year so it is possible that a match against Smith could take place before the end of the year. Canelo did express an interest in fighting in the UK which would be yet another huge event for British fight fans to savour.
Boxing at a football stadium such as Anfield (Liverpool FC) would tick a box for both fighters, mainly Smith as he is a born and bred Scouser but Alvarez also who knows that some of boxing’s biggest stars have travelled over to face British fighters in these iconic stadium’s, none more famously than Muhammad Ali’s second fight with Henry Cooper at Highbury (Arsenal FC) in North London in 1966. The British weather may have a say in such an outdoor event if it were to take place after August.
Callum Smith vs Saul ‘Canelo’ Alavarez could just be a pipe dream but the fight makes sense on many levels, none more so than the fact that both boxers are both signed with DAZN in conjunction with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing promotional company.
Canelo’s recent venture into the 168lb division saw him demolish another Scouser, Rocky Fielding at Madison Square Garden last December. Fielding was no match for the sharp punching Mexican and was removed in 3 rounds due to superb body punching. In Smith the red-haired Mexican will be meeting much tougher opposition, but Smith has never encountered a fighter of Alvarez’s undoubted calibre either.
We just might see Canelo in a fight every bit as tough as his two encounters with Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin.