CANELO ALVAREZ hit the scales today, ever so briefly, to make the 154lb limit ahead of tomorrow’s WBO super-welterweight challenge to Liam Smith. The Englishman’s trainer, Joe Gallagher watched closely, more aware than anyone of rumours that Alvarez was struggling to make weight.
Shortly afterwards, at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington where the battle will be hosted, Gallagher spoke to Boxing News.
Were you satisfied with the weigh-in?
Joe Gallagher: I stood over there were the commissioner was to keep an eye on the scales. I assigned jobs to [Smith’s manager] Matthew Macklin and other people in the team to watch the people that were around him in case he tried to rush the scales. He made 154 and they assured me no one touched him, and that he made the weight legit. It was quick but we knew that they would rush him. You do wonder when they rush him, why he can’t stand there and pose for long but it’s done now.
How did Canelo look to you?
I thought he looked small. By the time we’d got to our second interview he was on his second litre of juice. That’s what it is. We’re hugely confident and I don’t think people realised how much bigger Liam Smith was than Canelo, but it’s the difference that 24 or 32 hours will make. That could be the key tomorrow night.
How loud were the whispers beforehand that he wouldn’t make weight?
At the hotel we knew he was working out, working out. At the end of the day he’s made weight, and we had to make sure he made the weight. Liam was bang on 154, and Canelo was 154. The fight is on and I’m hugely confident as you’ve seen all week. Liam is too, he lapped it all up.
So Liam enjoyed the experience today?
He loved it, he loved watching the big screens. Oscar had the [WBO super-welterweight] belt, and I said to Liam ‘You get that belt and you start showing it off – you’re the champion here’. There was a good crowd from Liverpool here. It might only be 2000, but they’ll make themselves heard tomorrow night. They’ve got a taste of it now, they’ll all be on the lash. I think they were singing the Roy Keane song, ‘Liam’s on fire, Canelo is petrified’. It’s going to be great.