Fight Forecast - Canelo vs Smith, by Ben Damon

Thursday, September 1

Canelo Alvarez has opted for preservation over prestige with his career-defining 'duck' of Gennady Golovkin, and has instead chosen this bout with the Englishman Liam Smith. Alvarez is obviously a heavy favourite here but there will be strong sentiment towards an upset as Alvarez settles into his new role as a boxing 'bad guy'.

Smith is a World Champion and a solid member within a remarkable era in British pugilism. He is entertaining and powerful and brings the skills of a born boxer from a fighting family, but it would be difficult to argue he is at this level. Smith's strengths are his powerful uppercuts and body shots but he doesn't appear to possess the speed to be effective with these weapons against Alvarez. He will be hoping that Alvarez 'the dodger' is a less mentally and emotionally present boxer than we have seen in the past.

It's a huge occasion for both fighters and the biggest night of Smith's career. Alvarez should break him down early and get him out of there soon enough, but the variable is whether his mind is on Smith or fixated on the big scary monster he's running away from.

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