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Canelo, Smith ready to fight for top spot at super middleweight

WBO light heavyweight title bout in Las Vegas: Canelo Alvarez vs Sergey Kovalev
Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images

Canelo’s return is set, and he and opponent Callum Smith are both ready.

The Dec. 19 fight between Canelo Alvarez and Callum Smith is official, meaning we’ll see arguably the sport’s top box office draw and top pound-for-pound fighter back in action in just about a month, as he looks to win a legitimate title in a fourth weight class.

Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KO) is free from his contract with Golden Boy Promotions, and is co-promoting the bout himself, along with Matchroom Boxing on the side of Smith (27-0, 19 KO). The fight will take place in Texas, though an exact venue has not yet been announced.

The 30-year-old Canelo last fought in Nov. 2019, knocking out Sergey Kovalev to win the WBO light heavyweight title, which he then vacated. Alvarez has also won titles at 154 and 160, and did win a secondary 168-pound title in 2018. But this will be his chance to win a real title at 168, as Smith’s WBA title will be on the line, as well as the Ring Magazine championship.

“I’m very happy to return to the ring and continue to make history,” said Canelo. 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 pounds.”

“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, Canelo’s trainer and partner at Canelo Promotions.

For the 30-year-old Smith, this is a fight he’s wanted since he won the World Boxing Super Series in 2018, beating George Groves in the final to take the WBA and Ring belts. He’s defended twice since then, obliterating Hassan N’Dam in June 2019, before escaping with a controversial decision win over John Ryder about a year ago.

He will also no doubt have at least some thoughts of getting a measure of revenge for his brother Liam, whom Canelo stopped in 2016 at AT&T Stadium.

“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. “I truly believe I beat him and will prove that 168 pounds is my division.”

As mentioned earlier, there is also no undercard in place just yet. Traditionally, co-promoted shows like this will split the undercard, but Canelo Promotions is in its infancy, so it’s likely Matchroom will fill it out, and frankly I wouldn’t expect a ton, as most of their name fighters already have fights set, with this card coming together on pretty short notice.

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