CANELO ALVAREZ has confirmed his next fight will be against Brit Callum Smith on December 19.
The Mexican superstar will return to the ring as a free agent having terminated his contract with DAZN and Golden Boy Promotions.
Canelo has spent this year on the sidelines in frustration, having failed to find an opponent due to the coronavirus pandemic.
And the counterpuncher terminated his partnership with DAZN – who he signed a £278 deal with in 2018 – after they rejected a number of his proposed fights.
As a result, he has not fought since moving up to light-heavyweight in November last year to KO Sergey Kovalev for the WBO belt he later vacated.
But Canelo, 30, has now confirmed he has chosen Liverpool brawler Smith, 30, for his highly-anticipated return.
Smith is defending his super-middleweight title, with his rival desperate to become a fully-fledged four-division champ, having only won the WBA’s ‘Regular’ title.
Here SunSport details how the duo compare.
Alvarez has cemented himself as a pound-for-pound superstar since his first world title win in 2011.
The Mexican can do it all, but shines with his combination punching and accuracy.
He is also one of the best body punchers currently and has lightening fast hands.
Since his only loss – against Floyd Mayweather in 2013 – Canelo has vastly improved his defence and head movement.
His common fault in fights comes through footwork, believed to be a slow mover as he instead opts to plant his feet and let shots fly.
Gennady Golovkin was able to answer Alvarez’s punch selection in their double header, as he too has less nimble movement.
But Canelo’s timing and power makes him a dangerous opponent to trade blows with and should you chose to box around him, he’s equally capable at walking down opponents – as Sergey Kovalev found out.
The WBA champion, at 6ft 3in, towers over almost anyone in the super-middleweight division, yet often fights on the inside.
For his stature, Smith is an incredible inside fighter and uses his size to outmuscle opponents in close.
He also has a potent lead left hook which he uses both as a single counter or to set up a right cross.
Despite having a height advantage, it proved to be his downfall against John Ryder last year.
Ryder excellently backed up Smith and landed shots over the top, something Canelo has proven capable of.
Smith is most effective on the front foot, closing his opponent down and sinking in heavy hooks or uppercuts.
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Canelo is entering the fight, as is the case with pretty much any of his others, as the favourite.
He proved against super-middleweight Rocky Fielding in 2018 that he can overcome a size disadvantage through lethal body shots and well timed hooks.
If Smith was to close the distance and Alvarez was able to land a combination and quickly get out of range, then he could frustrate the Brit.
Smith’s best hope is to walk down the Mexican, plant his feet and trade punches – the same remedy Golovkin used despite being unfortunate not to win either fight.
Canelo would be expected to outbox the Scouser at range through quicker hands and counter punching, meaning the fight would need to be taken to him.
But Smith would do so at a risk of being overwhelmed with combinations and the pinpoint accuracy of Alvarez.