It's one of the biggest fights of the year as Callum Smith defends against Saul Alavrez. Betfair's Frankie Monkhouse picks out his best bet...
"This is a major step up in class for the champion but it’s one Canelo will have to be at his best to win."
The one we've been waiting for
It's the fight world boxing fans have been waiting for as Mexican sensation Saul Alvarez makes his long-awaited return to the ring when facing unbeaten Briton Callum Smith. Both the WBC and WBA world titles are on the line and many lovers of the sport expect this to be a real test for Canelo.
The Alamodome in San Antonio provides the setting and UK fight fans can follow the Matchroom Boxing card live on Sky Sports. The first bell of the main event is expected in the early hours of Sunday morning, but a strong band of supporters will tune in, aiming to cheer Mundo to victory.
Mexican the main man
Saul Alvarez is the main man in modern boxing. He tops most experts' pound-for-pound list and has won world titles at four different weight divisions between light middleweight and light heavyweight. Most agree he's one of the best fighters Mexican boxing has ever produced, and that's saying something. Canelo's record stands at 53 wins against one defeat and two draws. Of his wins, 36 have come by way of knockout.
The only loss on Saul's card came back in 2013 but there was no disgrace in going down by a majority decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. Canelo may have lost to Pretty Boy at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas that night but he emerged from the bout a better fighter and with many new fans. Alvarez has gone from strength to strength since, winning 11 and drawing one.
Canelo was last seen stopping another living legend, Sergey Kovalev up at light heavyweight. He took out the Russian in round 11 after building up a lead on the scorecards. The frightening thing about Alvarez is there looks plenty more to come from him and he'll be looking to prove it against Smith in fight number 57. Alvarez is 1.251/4 on the Exchange to win, 2.26/5 for the KO and 2.8815/8 the points victory.
Smith ranked number one
Liverpool's Smith has the unenviable task of defending his WBA world championship belt against the hottest property in boxing but he does so as an unbeaten champion with a stunning 27-0-0 record and fearsome 70% knockout average. He's ranked number one in the world at the weight ahead of fellow countryman Billy Joe Saunders, Daniel Jacobs, and David Benavidez.
One part of the famous fighting Smith family out of Merseyside, Callum stands at 6ft 3inches tall with a 78 inch reach, making him a giant of the division. When comparing those stats to that of his opponent we note Smith enjoys a sizable height and reach advantage with Saul 5ft 8inches tall with a 70-inch reach. The Briton is also the more natural super-middleweight and will be eager to make those numbers count.
Smith was last seen in action scoring a points win over Londoner John Ryder at the Echo Arena, Liverpool in November 2019. It was a bout Callum was expected to win comfortably but was pushed hard by The Gorilla and suffered a cut above his eye in the process. The current betting on the Betfair Exchange has Smith at 5.59/2 to win or there's 8.88/1 for a KO/TKO in the method of victory, 12.5 trading on a second points win on the bounce.
Alvarez must be at his best
This is a major step up in class for the champion but it's one Canelo will have to be at his best to win. Both fighters have the power to get the other out of there early but also carry the skills to impress the scoring judges sat at ringside.
This is a closer match than the betting tells us so that would suggest backing Smith is the value play. Having said that, I'm taking the ultra-consistent Canelo to do it again. He gets better with every fight and that's astonishing considering how good he's been in recent times. Our bet comes from the method of victory where we go Canelo on points.