LIAM SMITH has vowed to stop Canelo Alvarez when he defends his WBO world super-welterweight title against him on September 17 at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Despite being an unbeaten world champion, the criminally underrated Liverpudlian is a significant underdog against Alvarez.
After undertaking a trans-Atlantic press tour to announce the fight, ‘Beefy’ was able to get a measure of his man and he maintains that size won’t be an issue.
“They are making a huge mistake, because I know I’m going to beat him,” he said.
“When I see him face to face it makes me want the fight tomorrow. I’m now more confident after the two press conferences which sounds silly. What he lacks in height, he gains in thickness. Size won’t play a factor in the outcome of this fight.”
In his last outing, Canelo flattened a much smaller Amir Khan to defend the WBC middleweight title he had won from Miguel Cotto last November.
Smith helped Khan in sparring prior to his surprise meeting with the Mexican and while he was supportive of the former super-lightweight boss, was well aware of the alarming difference in size.
“Everything was made about size before the fight with Amir and I said openly a lot is made about what he puts on after weigh ins, but it doesn’t matter what he puts on size won’t be a factor in the fight,” he continued.
“It is killing me to keep going on about Amir, I’m very close to him and I train in his gym but he was Canelo’s last fight. It is not nice to keep going on about that fight but I’m in a fight now so I have to be brutally honest. I sparred Amir myself and from my point of view I thought ‘you’re tiny’. I met him before and I thought ‘you’re big’ but then got in the ring and realised he wasn’t, he was still a 147lb fighter. He was a 147lb blown up to 155 and it was always a case of can Amir get through it?
“I won’t watch that Amir fight from now until I fight Alvarez. I’m not a blown up 147 or a Miguel Cotto, I’m a big 154lb and I’m coming of age and coming to win. I think people have gone in with a fear and in awe of him and that is not what it is like with me.”
Smith, a massive football fan, usually plays for his local team outside of training and, at this time of year, would be into the pre-season stages.
However for such a big fight, he’s not running the risk of picking up an injury while playing football.
“I’m coming to win. Nobody can say I’m not at this level before, I haven’t fought at this level before. People will probably laugh and I’ll get stick for it but I am going to stop Canelo,” he said.
“Before British title fights I’ve played football on a Saturday before, it’s silly as it is. Then with world title fights I’ve stopped four weeks before. This one I haven’t kicked a ball in ages – the only one I did was when I kicked a field goal at the stadium in Texas. I haven’t done any pre-season or anything.”