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First off, Canelo Alvarez faced his next opponent at the press conference earlier this week to overdo Saturday’s return against WBA super middleweight champion Callum Smith It was hard to miss how challenging this was for the Mexican superstar

The pun on this case was intended for Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs), the reigning pound-for-pound king, who gave up no shortage of seven inches on the 6-foot-3 Smith (Jan. -0, 19 KOs) as the two stared deeply into each other’s eyes as the flashes from the cameras around them went on and off

30-year-old Smith, a native of England and the youngest of four professional boxers as brothers, is not an easy opponent.He has power, greatness and hunger.He also fits well with Alvarez’s résumé as he is routinely difficult to find himself to measure despite having as much influence as the sport’s greatest star

When the photos of the height differences between the two flooded the internet just days before the fight on Saturday (20 pm ET on DAZN, sign up now) at the Alamodome in San Antonio it was only natural to wonder if Alvarez had bitten off more than he could chew

Alvarez, 30, is not only looking to unify the WBA title at 168 pounds after previously holding the governing body secondary belt, but the two fighters will also battle for the WBC title, vacated after David Benavidez had lost the weight for a title defense earlier this year, yet he was far from worried when asked how he was going to negotiate the vertical drop

“We knew about the size and we also knew about its qualities, but I have the necessary boxing experience and we prepared for it,” Alvarez told “Morning Kombat” on Wednesday

Of course, Smith’s advantage only comes into play when he takes advantage of it by keeping Alvarez on the outside of his thrust and preventing the same type of vicious body attack that Alvarez once used to mess with Smith’s older brother Liam during his 2016 title bout 154 to quit pounds

“We’ll have to wait,” Smith told CBS Sports last week. “Of course I have to try to take advantage of each of my advantages as much as possible. There’s no point having a seven-inch height advantage if I haven’t used it

“At the highest level, a lot can change over the course of the fight. Part of it will be at close range and part of it will be some distance away. I just need to be prepared for anything Canelo Alvarez shows up and I need to have a good game plan and pull it through at night I believe that Dec. 20 I’ll wake up to another champion “

When asked if he would attack Smith’s other two brothers or any extended family members next, should he get past Callum this weekend, Alvarez let out a rare chuckle

Can’t you get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the martial arts world from two of the best in the business Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the very best in analysis and in-depth news, including a full preview of everything on the Octagon and the weekend Ring below

The reality is that Alvarez won’t be short of great opportunities after recently breaking free of exclusive deals with DAZN and former promoter Golden Boy, but none of that matters unless he gets through Smith first by being finds a way to penetrate his opponent

“Hopefully yes, hopefully so,” said Alvarez about targeting the body, “We’ll try to see and maybe it’s the best story”

It’s not the deepest map we’ve seen, but there is still a lot of intrigue surrounding the Main Event. Let’s take a closer look at the full Battle Map and the latest Main Event odds before doing an expert pick and prediction for Canelo vs. Blacksmith

It is thanks to Alvarez ‘size that he can jump back and forth between three weight classes from 160 to 175 pounds so effortlessly and still has both his strength and instinct as a finisher, but although Alvarez has been the smaller man in the past Fighting for the title against the much larger Super Middleweight Rocky Fielding and Sergey Kovalev light heavyweight, he played the role of the stalking power puncher in search of the goal

Alvarez can box his way to victory just as well should he need it, of course, which he did in 2019 against an equally much taller Daniel Jacobs in the unification middleweight championship.But there is reason to believe he will try to push Smith in Overpower this struggle and do so slowly

While it is easy to say that Smith’s thrust will potentially be the main blow in this fight for him to control range and prevent Alvarez from getting close enough to aim at his body, none of this becomes significant be if he doesn’t give Alvarez a reason to hesitate

This is where the effectiveness of Smith’s right hand becomes critical, especially at the beginning of the bout.Making a decision against Alvarez has long proven difficult as the judges favored his clean counterattack in close fights so the first half of the bout should show whether Smith can actually play the role of the taller man and make Alvarez pay for crossing the imaginary line in front of him

Should Smith prove unable to do this, a late stoppage (particularly due to heavy hooks on the chest to slow him down) seems almost inevitable

Smith is tall, tough, and hungry, but it’s largely up to him how much risk he takes to actually try to win instead of hanging around hoping for the best

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