CANELO ALVAREZ and Liam Smith met for another press conference in London earlier today.
Smith will defend his WBO world super-welterweight title against the Mexican superstar at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on September 17.
The mutual respect was clear between the two combatants, and both intend to produce a memorable night in the Lone Star State.
“Liam Smith is a great champion, he’s very strong, very hungry for victory,” Canelo said.
“We’re going to prepare like never before, we’ll be ready for this and we’ll give the fans a great fight.”
Smith, making the third defence of his belt, is a large underdog despite his undefeated champion status.
However the Liverpudlian has remained unperturbed during the media obligations, and insists he will spring a major upset.
“This is a fight I’ve been asking for for 12 months, I jumped at the chance,” he said.
“It’s a chance to prove myself, I could have done it against lesser opponents but I’m going to do it against the biggest name in the sport.
“A lot of people are surprised already about the size, he boxed at 155lbs, but he’s a natural 154lb fighter that’s why he’s back here. Size won’t play a factor in this fight.”
It was originally thought they would fight in Las Vegas, but instead they will clash in the impressive home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys which can hold over 100,000 people for a boxing event.
Promoter Oscar De La Hoya ensured the assembled media that Canelo, the jewel in Golden Boy Promotions’ crown, is not taking ‘Beefy’ lightly.
“It really is a pleasure to be here. I love coming to the UK because this country takes boxing seriously. There are more world champions from here than Mexico,” he said.
“Not only is this fight for a world title, it’s for pride and honour. Both will go inside the ring fighting for their countries.
“We strongly feel this will be the event of the year. Canelo Alvarez is the biggest star in the sport today. Not only that, but he is fighting a world champion who is dangerous, who is not going to the US to fall, a fighter who is serious, who is much bigger than Canelo.
“Team Canelo know how important this fight is, how dangerous this fight is. We expect a sellout.”
Eddy Reynoso, head trainer of Alvarez, echoed De La Hoya’s statements.
“We have a complicated fight September 17, a very strong fighter, throws many combinations and he’s got a very good chin, not only that but he has some power,” he said.
“He’s a world champion and he deserves our respect, so we will have great preparation for this fight.”
Joe Gallagher, Smith’s trainer, is no stranger to big fights and is excited about the prospect of pitting his charge against one of the best fighters on the planet.
“Seeing the stadium, and the prices of the ticket, Liverpool has a chance to go out ther and support their man. Liam Smith’s phone has not stopped going,” he said.
“It’s a huge fight for Liam, he’s one of the best world champions from the UK. Alvarez is a very, very good fighter. When you look at his record, others might be daunted, but over in Dallas Liam wasn’t.
“I feel Alvarez, Golden Boy have made a huge fight here. They should have taken the [Gennady] GGG [Golovkin] fight and got paid well.
“They’re probably looking at Liam and licking their lips. The best man will win and the loser will go back to Mexico.”