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Liam Smith: I respect Canelo’s power, he better respect mine

Liam Smith speaks with Marcos Villegas about Saturday’s fight with Canelo Alvarez.

On fight preparations and the media push

"This is great. I’m enjoying everything about this stage. It means a lot to me and my family to perform at this stage and get the win on Saturday night. ... It would probably be one of the biggest wins for a British fighter, it’s also an upset for you guys over here. It won’t be an upset on my behalf. I told you I was at this level. It’s a level I had to step up to, it’s something I’m ready for."

"I know this comes with this level fight. It’s a high magnitude fight. I’d moan if we weren’t getting this media, because it would mean we’re not on a high level. It comes with the fight."

On being the underdog

"I can’t really knock some of them who are not picking me to win the fight. Canelo’s the favorite, rightly so. He’s fought at a higher level, at this level before. But I am the champion. I am the undefeated fighter. I don’t know how to lose yet. He’s gonna have to deal with that, but I can’t really expect American fans to pick me to win when I’ve never fought in America. They don’t know who I am — yet. They will know Saturday when I beat Canelo Alvarez, and the rematch won’t be the same betting odds, I’ll tell you that."

"They’ll make every excuse in the book. ‘He overlooked me, he had trouble making weight.’ I think they will pay big money to bring me back over here to try and put the record straight."

On Canelo’s disadvantages

"One is plain to see: weight. I think weight will be a big factor. I do think he will make weight, but it’s the consequences of making weight. Will the weight hurt him down the stretch? If the fight doesn’t go his way and I’m still coming on strong late in the fight, it’s gonna hurt him. If he’s done anything wrong with the weight, I will draw that out of him. I’m looking forward to seeing if that plays a factor in the fight.

"If not, there are defensive weaknesses I can exploit. I don’t think he’s the best defensive fighter. Offensively, he’s very good. I’m looking forward to it."

On being confident in trading with Alvarez

"Yes, 100 percent. I’m confident I can stand and trade with him. I’m confident I can take his power. I respect his power, but I respect there’s 50, 70 percent of super welterweights in the world who I can respect their power. If he hits you on the chin, he can take you out. But believe me, if I hit him on the chin, I’ll take him out also.

"In boxing, any one given time, any punch can change a fight. He better respect my power. I respect his, but he better respect mine. If he doesn’t, he’s making a big mistake."

On the Golovkin-Canelo fight

"When I say he ducked him, I just think he knows he’s not big enough, he knows he doesn’t beat Golovkin now. If I ask you every one guys who wins, Canelo or Golovkin, every one of you will tell me Golovkin. He’s not stupid. He knows he’s not big enough, so he knows he’s not gonna win that fight. He was gonna pick one of the 154 pound fighters, he picked me. Now it’s my chance to make that fight never happen."

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