Saturday night’s main event displayed Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (54-1-2) at his very best. The Mexican superstar punished the formerly unbeaten Callum Smith (27-1) throughout the evening on the way to a lopsided UD victory in what was expected to be one of his toughest challenges to date.
In doing so, the boxing community as a whole may have come to realizations on a few things; Canelo Alvarez is the best fighter in the world, Smith is an excellent fighter- but nowhere near Canelo’s level, and Alvarez is beginning to put together an all time great type career.
1. Canelo Alvarez Is the Best Fighter in the World
While there are many fighters worthy of the pound-for-pound conversation, only one man has a legitimate claim to the number one spot. Canelo Alvarez continues to bolster his already impressive resume. Now, with the dismantling of the top Super-Middleweight, Canelo is a true 4 division world champion.
That resume, accompanied by his unbelievable wealth of skill, attributes, and IQ and the performances he continues to deliver, makes it difficult for any other fighter to have a compelling case for that top spot other than the man who fought on Saturday night.
Canelo has shown, time after time, that he is able and willing to fight any sort of fighter. Saturdays bout with Smith was his latest test against a much taller fighter, the tallest he had fought to date.
Even so, Canelo displayed his proficiencies, bolstering 57 percent power punches landed as well as out-landing the 6’3″ inch fighter in jabs 88-44, truly exemplifying the well rounded nature of his skill set.
2. Callum Smith was Nowhere near Canelo’s level
Going into the fight, Callum Smith was widely and rightfully regarded as an excellent champion and perhaps the best fighter at Super Middleweight (Caleb Plant had my vote prior to tonight.) He was to test Canelo in ways Canelo had not been tested since Mayweather and GGG. Even those fighters didn’t hold such physical advantages over Canelo as Smith did with his height and length.
However, it was plainly evident early in the evening that, although an excellent fighter, Callum Smith was nowhere near the pedigree of the world’s best fighter.
Unfortunately, the lack of competitiveness may lead less inclined viewers to believe Canelo was in against a low level of fighter. However the reality was that Canelo simply made a good fighter look below average at best.
Throughout the bout, Smith looked uncomfortable, confused, and battered by the suffocating skill, power, pressure, and defense of Canelo Alvarez. By the evening’s end, Smith reached the final bell winning at best a single round in most viewer’s estimation.
Smith will likely be back, and will likely get back into the win column sooner rather than later (likely at Light Heavyweight), just don’t expect a rematch with Alvarez to be made any time.
3. Canelo Is Putting Together an All-Time Great Type of Career
During the DAZN broadcast, Brian Kenny listed off a number of Canelo Alvarez’s notable opponents including Sergiey Kovalev, Erislandy Lara, and Amir Khan. Those were some of the fighters that the broadcast team considered his “second tier victories.”
No matter the way you shape or view Canelo’s opposition and timing of bouts, it is without doubt that Canelo is driven by greatness. The fighters he continually choses to enter the ring with only reinforce that image of his pursuit of boxing immortality.
Many fighters in his position would be happy and willing to take on lesser opponents for bigger money, but it has been clear for years that Canelo Alvarez craves a challenge and adding to his growing legacy. Alvarez’s continued (and growing) willingness to take on risk and challenge will be remembered kindly, even if there is some resistance to his resume now.
Callum Smith was a low reward- high risk fight when it was agreed to. The general public, particularly American and Mexican fans, hadn’t been exposed to Smith with a number of them dismissing him as another Rocky Fielding.
If Canelo hadn’t looked exceptional, Smith being less known could have easily been an opponent that the public could use in an argument against Canelo’s greatness. However, Canelo viewed him as a worthy opponent who held what he desired: Belts.
In the political and money driven landscape of boxing, Canelo continues to display his drive for greatness and respect and admiration for the sport. In looking for the best fights to make and delivering to fans what many fighters fail to, Canelo is fast approaching the category of fighter only few before him have reached.