Former WBA “Super” super-middleweight world champion Callum Smith isn’t convinced that his fellow countryman Billy Joe Saunders has enough power to beat Saul Alvarez.
Smith, 30, lost his battle with the Mexican superstar this past December via UD. Canelo was the superior fighter in every aspect, even though the Scouser had the reach and the height advantage.
Now Canelo is up for another British challenge when he faces the WBO champion on May 8 in US. This fight will be a lot more enjoyable than Alvarez – Yildirim, but “Mundo” is not so sure if Saunders can do the job against the 4-division world champ.
“Everybody always said me and Billy Joe had styles to trouble him but in completely different ways because we are completely different fighters,” Smith said to Sky Sports.
“Billy Joe has got movement, he’s a southpaw, a bit awkward and can probably stay out of trouble. But I don’t know if he’s got anything to keep Canelo off – enough power.
“Canelo is hard to hit clean and I don’t know if Billy Joe has enough to get his respect and put a dent in him.
“I see Canelo finding a way. Walking him down, starting to land as the fight goes on. I will always back a Brit but I don’t think anyone beats Canelo.”
Saunders is coming off a wide points decision over Martin Murray in December while Alvarez walked through WBC mandatory contender Avni Yildirim in three rounds last month.
“He is very clever in terms of the jab. He walks you down,” Smith said.
“With anybody else, you would jab. But he wants you to jab because he’s a counterpuncher. 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 defense. 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.”