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Boxing

Canelo Breaks Free From GBP To Fight Callum Smith

Canelo is a businessman and a business, man

Image Credit: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy

Canelo Alvarez is taking the Mayweather route.

After severing ties with his now-former promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, he has officially announced his next fight against Callum Smith.

Under the new banner of Canelo Promotions, “Cinnamon” teams up with Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing for the WBA and Ring Magazine World Super-Middleweight titles on Saturday, December 19th.

The event will be streamed live on DAZN in 200+ countries and territories worldwide (excluding Mexico).

Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) returns to the ring for the first time since knocking out Sergey Kovalev in November 2019 in Las Vegas. That win gave him the WBO World Light-Heavyweight title from the Russian to become a four-weight class world champion.

The Mexican superstar beat Smith’s old foe and fellow Liverpool fighter Rocky Fielding in December 2018 to win the WBA regular belt at 168lbs. That was his third weight class to dominate at.

Now Alvarez is looking to follow his domination at Middleweight up to the Super-Middleweight division.

“I’m very happy to return to the ring and continue to make history,” said Canelo via statement. “I am motivated to continue to be the best, and I look forward to fighting Callum Smith, who is one of the best at 168 lbs.”

Smith (27-0, 19 KOs) has been laying in wait for a bigger stage. Canelo is the bag in boxing and no fight will be greater for him than this.

The undefeated British powerhouse is looking to make a name past the boxing diehards to cement his position as top dog at 168 lbs.

He’s putting his WBA and Ring belts on the line to prove it too.

“I’ve been wanting a big fight since becoming World champion, so I’m so pleased that during these challenging times we can deliver to the fans a fight between the very best in the division,” said Smith via a statement. “I truly believe I beat him and will prove that 168lbs is my division.”

Smith won his titles with a clinical stoppage win over fellow countryman George Groves in the seventh round of the final of the inaugural World Boxing Super Series in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in September 2018.

The 30-year-old has defended the titles twice since, stopping Hassan N’Dam in New York in June 2019 and then outpointing John Ryder in his Liverpool hometown five months later.

 

Smith will also be out for family revenge when he steps through the ropes, with Canelo having beaten Smith’s brother Liam in Texas in September 2016.

“We are very happy to return to the ring and close out the year with one more victory to continue demonstrating that Canelo is the best boxer on this planet,” said Eddy Reynoso, Sport and Talent director at Canelo Promotions and Canelo’s trainer.

With DAZN having gone through massive layoffs during COVID-19, the streaming service’s bold experiment to take boxing off of television was on the ropes.

Coupled with a lawsuit that Canelo lobbed at both DAZN and his former promoter GBP, the fight announcement shows resilience on the part of DAZN and strategy on the part of Eddie Hearn, managing director of Matchroom Sport.

 “I’m delighted to be part of this huge fight to close out 2020 and deliver this opportunity for Callum Smith,” said Hearn.

 “Canelo is a fearless competitor who constantly challenges himself against great champions and this will be a thrilling battle for 168lb supremacy. It’s a pleasure to be working with Canelo and Eddy Reynoso and we look forward to a spectacular event on December 19th.”

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