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Canelo Back in Action Dec. 19, on DAZN, Will Fight Brit Callum Smith

Michael Woods

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Right now, Terence Crawford has been getting most of the love as the subject of who is the pound for pound best in boxing is discussed.

Canelo Alvarez, the Mexican pugilist who has been spending the last few months throwing outside the ring haymakers against his now ex promoter, is looking to shifts hearts and minds. 

“CANELO ALVAREZ MEETS CALLUM SMITH ON DECEMBER 19

Pound-for-pound king faces #1 Super-Middleweight on DAZN”

That is the headline and sub head on a release sent out by Matchroom, the promotional outfit run by Eddie Hearn, announcing the Dec. 19 clash between Alvarez and Brit Callum Smith.

The fight will screen on DAZN platform, something that people weren’t saying last week, when word dropped that Alvarez had parted ways with promoter Oscar De La Hoya. He’d been fighting on Golden Boy cards since 2009, but the divorce got in motion because the red-head didn’t want to fight Gennadiy Golovkin a third time, and Oscar and company thought that was a good idea.

So, the 30 year old Canelo, now clearly and conclusively steering his own ship, thinks that Smith, a 27-0 super middleweight with more than ample length, and fine offensive form and technique, is a solid choice for his next.

Alvarez last fought on Nov. 2, 2019, when he hopped up to light heavyweight, and stopped Sergey Kovalev in round 11 in Las Vegas, and on DAZN’s platform. 

My thinking is that Smith, now holding a WBA 168 strap, isn’t an “easy work” match for Canelo, not like Rocky Fielding on December 15, 2018, at Madison Square Garden.

But Alvarez will have faster and harder hands and a better or way better brand of ring generalship than John Ryder, and well past prime George Groves and Hassan N’Dam.

Does Callum, who last fought on Nov. 23, 2019, have a better chance at beating the Mexican than his big bro Liam Smith did when they collided in September 2017? I’d say yes, but maybe not by as much as his heavy duty rooters think,  because Canelo has improved a certain percent from then. Callum is two years younger than Liam, and RING rates him ahead of Canelo, Andre Direll, Caleb Plant and David Benavidez at super middle. 

Here is the release sent out by Matchroom:

Canelo Promotions and Matchroom Boxing are delighted to announce that Canelo Alvarez will take on Callum Smith for the WBA and Ring Magazine World Super-Middleweight titles on Saturday December 19, live on DAZN in 200+ countries and territories worldwide (excluding Mexico).

Alvarez (53-1-2 36 KOs) is back in action for the first time since knocking out Sergey Kovalev in November 2019 in Las Vegas, ripping the WBO World Light-Heavyweight title from the Russian to become a four-weight World ruler.

The Mexican superstar beat Smith’s old foe and fellow Liverpool fighter Rocky Fielding in December 2018 to win the WBA regular belt at 168lbs – his third weight to rule at – and will be gunning to follow his domination at Middleweight up to Super-Middle.

Smith (27-0 19 KOs) has landed the huge fight he has craved, and the powerful Brit will be out to cement his position as top dog at 168lbs. ‘Mundo’ landed the WBA and Ring belts he puts on the line with a clinical stoppage win over fellow countryman George Groves in the seventh round of final of the inaugural World Boxing Super Series in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in September 2018. 

The 30 year old has defended the titles twice since, stopping Hassan N’Dam in New York in June 2019 and then outpointing John Ryder in his Liverpool hometown five months later.

NOTE: Plenty of people thought Ryder deserved to get the nod over Callum.

Smith will also be out for family revenge when he steps through the ropes, with Canelo having beaten Smith’s brother Liam in Texas in September 2016.

“I’m very happy to return to the ring and continue to make history,” said Canelo. “I am motivated to continue to be the best, and I look forward to fighting Callum Smith, who is one of the best at 168lbs.”

“We are very happy to return to the ring and close out the year with one more victory to continue demonstrating that Canelo is the best boxer on this planet,” said Eddy Reynoso, Sport and Talent director at Canelo Promotions and Canelo’s trainer.

Reynoso and Canelo are, clearly, on that same page, and work together maybe as well as any trainer-fighter duo in the boxing sphere.

“I’ve been wanting a big fight since becoming World champion, so I’m so pleased that during these challenging times we can deliver to the fans a fight between the very best in the division,” said Smith. “I truly believe I beat him and will prove that 168lbs is my division.”

“I’m delighted to be part of this huge fight to close out 2020 and deliver this opportunity for Callum Smith,” said Eddie Hearn, managing director of Matchroom Sport. “Canelo is a fearless competitor who constantly challenges himself against great champions and this will be a thrilling battle for 168lb supremacy. It’s a pleasure to be working with Canelo and Eddy Reynoso and we look forward to a spectacular event on December 19.”

“We’re thrilled to work with our great partners Canelo Alvarez, Eddy Reynoso and Matchroom on this new venture,” said Ed Breeze, DAZN EVP, Rights. “Canelo vs. Smith is a perfect fight to support DAZN’s global launch in December as we look forward to introducing the platform to sports fans around the world.”

An announcement on the venue for the fight will be made soon.

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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