I’m sure Callum Smith, set to face off with Canelo Alvarez tonight in Texas on DAZN, has lost his shit, snapped, thrown F-bombs and the like. But I simply couldn’t imagine it as I tossed questions at the Liverpool pugilist on Thursday.
He admitted isn’t thrilled by taking media queries, but he gets it; the bigger the fight, the more these sort of obligations you have to deal with. “Enjoy it or not, it’s gotta be done,” said the 27-0 (19 KO) Smith.
So here’s one for him: which is more annoying, doing that 5-to-7 mile roadwork slog when you’d rather stay in bed and grab an extra hour of sleep, or taking dumbass questions from media morons, like, “How was camp?”
“Is the road work or the media stuff more boring? The media stuff won’t help you in the fight,” Smith answered.
I am seeing some folks on social media here and there picking Callum to upset Canelo. The underdog admitted that more people are not giving him a chance here because he didn’t set the world on fire in his last outing against John Ryder in Nov. 2019. (He won, by UD12, but plenty of folks thought the judges took an L.)
How to Watch Canelo vs Smith
“100 percent, fans can judge you right off,” he told me. “I know what level I am. I believe in my own ability.”
This isn’t the type of personality who slings trash talk and hard promises, which are often subconsciously utilized more to buck up the speaker than to pump up the hype for the fight. “I took this fight because I believe I can win,” he insisted.
I put him on the spot, asking for a prediction, and he replied, “I believe I win the fight. Whether I out-point him or stop him, I wouldn’t sit here if I didn’t believe I wouldn’t win.”
He’s got a calm cool, and is a throwback personality. Low-key, nothing wild-eyed or inflammatory in Callum Smith. He has not been motivating himself with thoughts of the mansions and cars that can be purchased if and when he downs Canelo.
“Not really, none of that, I’m just focused on winning the fight, being the best I can be. The glamorous stuff, that’s never been my motivation, all that would come from such a win. Not all the car or the watches.”
The portion of prep which included him picking the brain of big bro Liam, who took on Canelo in 2016 was similarly low-key. They didn’t sit down and re-watch the bout, dissecting it together.
“It was more unofficial, just taking little bits here and there, getting things to be aware of.”
My Three Cents: Callum won’t be furnishing flashbacks to Rocky Fielding, another Brit, also hailing from Liverpool, whom Canelo demolished in Dec. 2018. He will have his moments when his height is working for him. I think Canelo will be his patient self and collect plenty of data, in his own calm and collected way.
Five of Canelo’s last six fights have gone to round 11 or later. Callum’s chin hasn’t shown itself to be weak, which makes me think he will not join Fielding as an early rounds stoppage victim. Canelo also isn’t the type to cater his performance to the wishes of the executives or the fans. I think it a safe bet that we see some close rounds, and Smith avails himself solidly tonight.
But he will taste from the L cup for the first time, by decision. What worked offensively against George Groves won’t work as well against Canelo, who is much, much more confident in his chin. Counters that Groves landed, that John Ryder landed, will from Canelo sting much more. Openings that Nieky Holzken saw, Canelo will see and exploit a good deal more. Power that registered against Hassan N’Dam won’t make Canelo blink hard. Jhn Ryder’s lack of height didn’t seem to hurt him too much against Callum...
You get my drift. What do you think, readers?