Callum Smith has had some time to reflect on last month’s dominating decision loss at the hands of Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Before a crowd in Texas, Smith was picked apart as the twelve round contest played out – with Canelo walking away with the WBC, WBA super middleweight titles.
Smith, the youngest of four fighting brothers in the Smith family, suffered his first defeat as pro.
Canelo was easily able to get past the longer reach of Smith, connecting to his body with big hooks and landing uppercuts up the middle.
Smith tried his best to keep him back, with Canelo applying more pressure round after round.
The British boxer makes no excuses, but would have liked to have more time to prepare for the fight.
“Ideally I would have wanted full notice but I was in the gym most of the year. If I wasn’t doing anything I would have turned the fight down. I was in decent enough shape, I did the twelve rounds OK. Tactically I would have liked longer to adjust to Canelo but I could have had twelve rounds and there’s no certainty that the result would have been different,” Smith said to Sky Sports.
“He is very clever in terms of the jab. He walks you down. With anybody else, you would jab. But he wants you to jab because he’s a counter-puncher. 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.
At the moment, Smith does not see anyone capable of beating Canelo – unless the once-beaten boxer continues to climb up in weight and eventually faces someone who is just too big.
“His best asset was his presence and his defence. 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,” Smith said.
“I don’t think anyone beats him. He may only lose if he keeps going up in weight but he’s put a stop to that. His defence is just too good. He can obviously punch but his power wasn’t ridiculous. I remember Groves hit me and I thought: ‘I don’t want to take one of those on the chin.'”