LET’S get one thing straight, Liverpool’s Liam Smith is being absolutely no chance of beating Canelo Alvarez on Saturday – particularly by the American press. Before today’s final press conference at the grand AT&T Stadium, the media huddled around Alvarez and bombarded the Mexican with questions about Gennady Golovkin.
It was hoped that Alvarez would engage in a unification showdown with the Kazak after he knocked out Amir Khan in May, with his promoter Oscar De La Hoya promising to open negotiations immediately. They didn’t go very far, and within weeks, Alvarez relinquished the WBC middleweight title as the sanctioning body pushed for the fight to be made. Now, he returns to super-welterweight, a division he hasn’t campaigned in for three years, and takes on the confident and carefree Smith.
Alvarez, two days before challenging the Englishman, insists Golovkin is still a target.
“Any day, any time. When the negotiations are done and the fight is done, I will be ready. They [Golovkin’s camp] need to worry about it not me.”
Yesterday, Alvarez’s team insisted – quite rightly – that it was disrespectful to talk about Golovkin so close to the fight with Smith. But the fighter bristled under questioning today, no doubt tired of being accused of ducking “GGG”. The 26-year-old insisted he would have no worries about rising to 160lbs for the showdown, despite never weighing above his favoured catchweight of 155lbs.
“I’m not worried at all about going to 160lb,” Canelo said. “I’m a strong fighter, I’m a fighter who can adapt to my surroundings. I can’t tell you now what I will be like at 160 as I don’t know yet. We will see in a couple more fights in how I feel and look. We will see what comes.”
There have been suggestions that Canelo is struggling to make 154lbs, and he certainly had the look of a fighter locked in a gruelling battle with the scales. Unsurprisingly, Alvarez rejected claims that he is struggling to lose mass.
“Every fighter goes through cutting the weight and there will be no issues,” he said matter of factly.
When asked about the possibility of a Golovkin-Canelo showdown, De La Hoya added: “People have been asking for that fight for over a year now. People were asking for [Manny] Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather for eight years. This fight will happen next year and when we are ready, we will do it. Canelo is fighting at 154 , Golovkin at 160. When Canelo is ready for that weight we will make it happen.”
Incidentally, the possibility of a Golovkin-Smith showdown wasn’t mentioned once.