Mexican boxing superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will return to the ring on December 19 in another challenging fight, against the unbeaten WBA and Ring Magazine super-middleweight champion Callum Smith. Looking for value in the Canelo vs. Smith odds? Read on to inform your Canelo vs. Smith predictions.
A close look at the Canelo vs. Smith odds
The 1X2 odds suggest this is a fight that Pinnacle is expecting Canelo Alvarez to win, and the odds propose the Mexican has approximately an 80% chance of victory.
The Total Rounds is set at 9.5, with Over 9.5 rounds priced at 1.689*, which means Pinnacle are favouring the fight to go the distance or late over an early stoppage.
Date: Saturday, December 19
Venue: Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, United States
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Canelo vs. Smith: Big fight statistics
Smith will make his third defence of the title he won via the knockout of George Groves back in September 2018. Canelo owns a secondary version of the belt, but victory over Smith means he will hold the right to declare himself a true four-division world-titlist.
Canelo holds a record of 53 wins, one loss, and two draws, with 36 of those wins via stoppage, whilst Callum Smith has a perfect record of 27 wins, with 19 via stoppage. A glance at the stats suggests Smith has a slight advantage in power over Canelo, with a 70% knockout percentage over Canelo's 68%, but it is worth bettors noting that Canelo has boxed at a far higher level of competition than Smith and is arguably the stronger of the two fighters, despite being the smaller man.
The level of opposition that Canelo has faced is also far superior to Smith, having amassed 29 more fights, and he has boxed 268 more professional rounds - 402 to Smith's 134.
What did the John Ryder fight tell us?
There are plenty of comparisons to be made in the Canelo vs. Smith fight to the Canelo vs. Rocky Fielding fight in terms of height and reach, so there is a reasonable gage for bettors to study ahead of this fight from a stylistic standpoint, but not from a quality point of view.
"betting against the Mexican is practically a definitive way to lose money if his fights go to the scorecards"
Canelo moved up in weight class on that occasion and demolished Fielding with crisp and accurate body shots to stop the Brit inside three rounds. The fight was a complete mismatch but it does bring a parallel to the Smith fight due to the way Alvarez destroyed Fielding to the body, with the Mexican declaring after the fight that it was his game plan to hit the body and then move upstairs to the head. This could also be a tactic the 30 year-old will deploy against Smith after having tremendous success against a fighter who carries similar fundamentals in height, frame, and reach to Smith. According to CompuBox punch statistics, Canelo landed 73 of 141 punches (52%), including 35 to Fielding's body. Fielding landed 37 of 183 punches (20%).
The second comparison is the recent John Ryder fight, where Smith was boxing a smaller fighter who has similar fundamentals to Canelo, but is nowhere near the level of the Mexican. Ryder was also moving up from middleweight, and Smith encountered all types of problems with him, so Canelo moving up even higher and destroying a top-level fighter in Sergey Kovalev and now moving back down in weight does not bode well for the Brit’s chances of causing an upset.
Betting against the 'cash cow' - Canelo
A cash cow in boxing terminology is a boxer who can make their promoter and each person involved within their team an awful lot of money. So it is an extremely risky betting strategy to bet against the cash cow (in this case Canelo) and should only be recommended if you are convinced that the fighter you are betting on is superior to his opponent.
Some bettors will bet on Canelo not because they are confident he will win the fight, but because the chances of the judges being kind to the cash cow is high. If there is a lesson over Canelo’s career that bettors have learned, it is that betting against the Mexican is practically a definitive way to lose money if his fights go to the scorecards, which they so often do at top-level.
Canelo vs. Smith: Where is the value?
After Callum Smith’s victories over George Groves and Hassan Ndam he was looked upon as the number one force at super-middleweight, and rightly so. But since his performance against fellow countryman John Ryder there have been many doubts raised over the level that the 30 year-old can operate at.
Smith is a brilliant puncher and can throw a variety of well-timed shots. He is also 6’3 and Canelo is around 5’9 in height, so that coupled with Smith’s extremely long arms creates an angle in the fight, and it will be interesting to see how Canelo plans to overcomes it. It is also worth noting that Smith is undefeated, and any undefeated fighter carries a sense of danger since they ‘don’t know how to lose’ – an old boxing cliché that remains true in certain situations.
However, despite Smith’s strong CV, his issue will likely come defensively rather than offensively. His size means he will be a big target for Canelo and against a fighter who is arguably the best combination puncher in boxing, to both body and head, this spells trouble. The main worry for Smith is how easily John Ryder got up close to him, and that it didn’t seem to be a difficult task. If Ryder can get up close to Smith with that level of ease, then Canelo could potentially overwhelm and overpower him.
Smith is a very good fighter, but Canelo is a special one and that should ultimately be the difference between the two in this fight. Canelo will likely work Smith’s body, gradually close the range, and work his way inside, and bettors should expect the Mexican to win by late stoppage or via a competitive decision.