Canelo Alvarez Broke The Levees To Face Biggest Challenge In Callum Smith


Back in September, Saul ”Canelo” Alvarez broke the levees in boxing.

The new golden boy, pun intended, had a lock on the Mexican market and became a U.S. superstar under the auspices of Oscar de la Hoya.

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However, COVID-19, plus other factors regarding matchmaking delayed the activity of Canelo and he decided to take a pivot from the norm.

In 2018, Alvarez signed a $365 million deal for 11 fights licensed by subscription streaming service DAZN.

Alvarez filed a suit, replete with 11 complaints, including breach of contract, negligent interference, and fraud.

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According to reports, the legal documents requested a jury trial, stating that both DAZN and his promoter Golden Boy Promotions, headed up by Oscar de la Hoya, have “broken the promises they made to each other, Alvarez, and boxing fans”.

Fast forward and Canelo is now independent, aligning himself with Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sports to face Callum Smith.

This Saturday, December 19, boxing’s biggest star and pound-for-pound-fpr-pound king takes on #1 super middleweight CALLUM Smith at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

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The event will be in in front of limited fans.

Canelo (53-1-2 36 KOs) fights at the venue for the second time in his career. He bested Austin Trout there in April 2013. Canelo has always had luck in the Lone Star State and it’s the fourth time he has boxed there.

Trout, James Kirkland and Smith’s older brother Liam all took L’s in Texas from ”Cinammon.”

Smith (27-0 19 KOs), gunning for revenge for his brother’s defeat in September 2016, is a rising star from scrappy Liverpool.

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The youngest of four brothers, Callum Smith went on to join them as legitimate professional fighters.

All three of Smith’s fighting older brothers — Paul, Stephen and Liam — have held or at least fought for a major world title as professionals.

Within the last two years he has knocked out George Groves and Hassan N’Dam. He also holds a dangerous seven-inch height advantage against Alvarez.

A victory over Canelo would become the biggest triumph of his eight-year pro career.

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However, never forget that Alvarez, like Smith, is from a family of fighters. All six of his brothers boxed at some level with Canelo reaching the biggest level of the sport.

The WBC World Super-Middleweight title will be on the line. Smith already holds the WBA (Super), and The Ring Super-Middleweight titles.

Both men have won WBC straps before, with Canelo winning belts at Super-Welterweight and Middleweight and Smith landing the WBC Diamond belt at 168lbs.

The winner on December 19 will be ordered to face WBC #2 ranked Avni Yildrim within 90 days.

Canelo broke boxing’s levees holding the traditional promoter-boxer relationship in place. Now he must get past Callum Smith to keep moving up the boxer-businessman food chain.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.