Callum Smith believes there is no fighter capable of beating Canelo Alvarez and admits the Mexican was hard to time clean.
Smith suffered a first professional loss, succumbing to a unanimous decision to Canelo, who ripped away the WBA ‘Super’ and Ring Magazine titles Super Middleweight titles, whilst claiming the vacant WBC belt in Texas in December.
The Brit had a height and reach advantage heading into the bout, but on reflection ‘Mundo’ says the four-weight world champion was able to nullify his strengths with his masterful defence and insists if he was given another opportunity he would look for an early stoppage.
“He is very clever in terms of the jab,” Smith told Sky Sports.
“He walks you down. With anybody else, you would jab. But he wants you to jab because he’s a counter-puncher. So you don’t throw as many jabs and while you are waiting, he closes the space down without throwing anything.
“Then he jabs and hits you. You think: ‘How did that land?’ He keeps you guessing all the time. You are hesitant.
“His best asset was his presence and his defence. He was so hard to hit clean. When I was throwing he was riding them, making me miss. You aren’t landing so you stop fully committing to shots. He takes away what you are good at.
“If I got another chance I’d gamble early. Fight fire with fire. I’d take more chances.”
Canelo, who signed a two-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing defends his unified world titles against Avni Yildirim on February 27 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami and has already laid out his intentions to unify the division with Billy Joe Saunders holding the WBO title and Caleb Plant defending his IBF crown against Caleb Truax on Saturday.
The 30-year-old, who dropped back down to 168lbs after beating Sergey Kovalev to win the WBO Light Heavyweight title, is unbeaten since a sole reverse to former pound-for-pound great Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2013 and Smith is doubtful he will be beaten, unless he moves up in weight.
“I don’t think anyone beats him,” the 30-year-old added.
“He may only lose if he keeps going up in weight but he’s put a stop to that. His defence is just too good.”
Asked if Alvarez was the hardest puncher he’d ever faced, Smith commented: “No. He can obviously punch but his power wasn’t ridiculous. I remember Groves hit me and I thought: ‘I don’t want to take one of those on the chin’.
Smith suspected in the immediate aftermath that his days at 168lbs are numbered, with a move up to 175lbs inevitable and reveals the prospect of becoming world champion in two divisions appeals to him.
“The opportunity to be a two-weight world champion is something I always wanted. I believe that I’m big enough and good enough.”