Last December, Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs), defeated former champion Callum Smith (27-1, 19 KOs) by unanimous decision in twelve stinging rounds, to win the super middleweight title of the World Boxing Council.
Smith, in an interview with Sky Sports, commented: “I was in the gym for most of the year, so I came to the fight with Canelo well prepared, otherwise I would have turned down the fight.
“I was in shape, and I did all twelve rounds well. Tactically I would have liked more time to adapt to Canelo, but there is no certainty that the result would have been different.
“He’s very smart using his jab. With anyone else you would throw the jab. But he wants you to do just that, because he’s a counter puncher. So you don’t throw that many jabs and while you’re waiting, he closes the gap and then he hits you.
“You think: ‘ How did he hit me? His best asset is his presence and his defense. It was so hard to hit him cleanly. When I was throwing punches at him, he was making me miss, although he wasn’t landing punches entirely. Yet, he knows how to neutralize you. I don’t think anyone will beat him right now. His defense is too good…and he has power.”