Callum Smith knows he’s a huge underdog going into Saturday’s mouthwatering clash with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in Texas.
But the Scouser is convinced he will rise to the challenge of facing a man widely perceived to be boxing’s pound-for-pound king.
And he firmly believes that, when he wakes up a week today, the WBA World super-middleweight strap he is putting on the line will be back in his hotel room alongside him.
Smith said: “It’s a deserved fight, I’m far from lucky to get it. I’m No.1 in the world and I’ve earned the right to be in these fights.
“It’s a bit like the George Groves fight where I’m the underdog and I’ve a point to prove, but I’ve always felt that brings out a little bit more in me.
“I have always believed that if the best version of me steps through the ropes I can beat anyone on the planet at 168lbs and that includes Canelo Alvarez.
“He’s a great fighter, No.1 or No.2 in the pound-for-pound fighters in the world, and I don’t put myself anywhere near the top of that.
“But styles make fights and, stylistically, I’ve definitely got the beating of him.
“I just have to show that on the night.
“I have to tactically get it right and perform, and if I perform exactly the way I should and everything goes to plan, then I will win.
“If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t be sitting here now. There were other fights to take, other options.”
There were times this year Smith feared he was just a pawn in Alvarez’s negotiations with other fighters.
But, finally, the bout was made, allowing him to stay true to his word of coming back from his lockdown-enforced break with a bang.
He added: “I’ve just turned 30, I’m world champion, I’m in my best years, so why waste time after being out of the ring for so long by coming back and having a knock-over job against someone I’m supposed to beat?
“My next fight was always going to be a decent fight and I’ve always liked this one.
“These are the fights I go to the gym year round to be involved in.
“You want to put that training to use and I want to see how good I really am, and there’s no better fighter to share the ring with at this stage of my career than Canelo.”
Smith’s brother Liam was knocked out in round nine of his clash with Alvarez four years ago.
Callum said: “I spoke to Liam at the time, you always ask what he was like and how good he was.
“It was a long time ago and I will probably get a different version of Canelo than he got, but there are little things he does in all of his fights, not habits, but you’ve always got certain shots you like to throw.
“So I’ve always picked Liam’s brains over it and more so since the fight was made.
“He tells me what he does well and what I’ll be able to capitalise on.
“You can watch as many videos as you want but it’s always different when you’re in there, so it has been good to have him and be able to pick his brains.”
Source: Read Full Article