Canelo Alvarez made his return to the ring last night. Alvarez last performance was December 2019 when he defeated Sergey Kovalev. 2020 was a tumultuous year for Canelo, sidelined by the pandemic and promotion/platform disputes.
Yet, if Alvarez had any rust from the layoff it didn’t show. He thoroughly dominated his opponent Callum Smith. The closest round was perhaps the opening round. Traditionally a feeling out period for fighters. Canelo-Smith was no different. However, after that Canelo slowly but surely walked Smith down. Demonstrating great head movement, punching with both hands and in combinations. Even more impressive, Canelo did so yielding a six to seven inch height advantage and eight inch reach advantage to Smith. While Canelo was the smaller man, he was clearly the bigger fighter.
With the victory Canelo won both the vacant WBC title and Smith’s WBA title. The win also made Canelo a four weight class champion. While there were no questions about the performance. There were plenty of questions about what’s next. At the post-fight press conference when posed with the question he responded by stating “Unify. I want to win all the [super-middleweight] belts. It doesn’t matter against who.” If unification is on Canelo’s mind that means a bout against either WBO title holder Billy Joe Saunders or Caleb Plant the IBF titleholder.
Of course, what many fans want is a third bout with Gennady Golovkin. Golovkin was victorious the evening before. So the set up is prime for a third fight. When pressed on it, Canelo was less direct stating “I don’t run from nobody. I just showed that I fought against the best and of course, if that fight is going to take place, I’ll take it. I’ve showed the world that I fight against the best.”
If a Canelo-Golovkin trilogy bout occurs, it will certainly be one of the biggest fights of 2021. Until then check out the highlights from Canelo-Smith here.