After handing Callum Smith a first professional defeat, Canelo Alvarez turns his attention to super-middleweight unification
AFTER unanimously outscoring Liverpool’s Callum Smith to win the WBC and WBA super-middleweight world titles, Canelo Alvarez is looking to unify more titles in the division next.
On Saturday (December 19) at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Alvarez swiftly negated Smith’s height and reach advantages, blowing past the Briton’s jab to land solid lefts, heavy hooks, blasting crosses and uppercuts through when he took Callum to the ropes. Canelo might be a short super-middleweight, but he’s dangerous.
“Because I’m better. Because I have many abilities. I make them think about what I’m going to throw simply because I’m better,” he said. “It was the fourth or fifth round that I obviously saw that he was hurting… But it was in the 12th that I saw that he was very hurt. I knew that he had a very good left punch so that’s what we worked at in the gym.
“That [height] doesn’t matter to me. My boxing experience is what matters, if they’re taller, shorter that doesn’t matter to me. My experience is what gives me the ability to fight anyone.
“I adapt. I adapt to all styles. I adapted for Callum Smith this time around and I’ll prepare for any style. I will always be ready and be the winner.”
While Errol Spence, the gifted Texan welterweight, was in the stadium to watch the event, he is not in Canelo’s immediate future. “Reality is we have other goals right now, we have the goals of the 168lbs titles,” Alvarez said. “Short term to unify all the 168lbs titles.”
That is good news for Caleb Plant, the IBF super-middle champion, and Billy Joe Saunders, the WBO belt holder in that division. Either one could get the opportunity to fight Alvarez, the most high profile figure in international boxing today.
Saunders, a stablemate of Smith’s at Matchroom who co-promoted Saturday’s event, might well be the leading candidate to take on the Mexican star in 2021. Alvarez indicated his satisfaction with Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn. “It’s the first time my eyes have seen a ring walk like that, thank you Eddie [Hearn], I’m very grateful for that. I’m very happy in our co-promotion that we had this time around,” Canelo said. “Even though the stadium was not full [due to social distancing restrictions], it sounded full so I’m very happy about that and hopefully everything goes back to normal very soon.”
Alvarez is a huge draw in America and Mexico but has also voiced an interest in boxing further afield. “The best fighters in the world have fought in Japan, have fought in Europe, have fought in Mexico and fought in Africa,” his trainer Eddy Reynoso said. “England, Africa, Mexico, Japan, Eddie [Hearn] it’s all on you.”
“Look what I want is whatever my team wants,” Canelo added. “If he [Reynoso] wants me to fight in Mexico, China, Japan, UK, we’ll go.
“We’re trying to make history here.”
And if his latest performance hasn’t silenced doubters, Alvarez declared, “What they want is to see me cut, to see me swollen, to see me fall, but boxing isn’t like that. As I said, I don’t care.”
Canelo Alvarez has finished 2020 at the top of his game. Expect his reign to continue through 2021 and beyond too.