Fight Week Preview: Canelo & Golovkin Return
By Gary Kittilsen
Fight fans have another huge week of boxing in store for them.
One of the sport’s two biggest stars, Anthony Joshua, made a successful return to the ring after a year layoff last week and it’s other biggest star is set to return this upcoming week.
Canelo Alvarez, who is considered by many to be the pound for pound best in the sport, will take on Callum Smith at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, in what will be the last mega-fight of 2020.
Alvarez has been inactive since November of 2019 when he stopped light heavyweight champ Sergey Kovalev. After a long-running feud, the Mexican icon has split with his promoter Golden Boy and is finally set to return.
Callum Smith will put his WBA super-middleweight title on the line as well the vacant WBC 168 pound world title will be on the line. A belt that was vacated by David Benavidez when he missed weight back in August.
For Smith, who is considered the best 168-pounder in the world, it’s a chance at revenge. Alvarez, knocked out Liam Smith, the brother of Callum, back in 2016. Like this fight, that fight also took place in the Lone Star State. Smith who last fought in November of 2019 when he narrowly outpointed John Ryder, is a +375 on the betting line and will enter the ring in the Alamodome a very live underdog.
The card which will air on DAZN features a stacked undercard headlined by some of Matchroom USA’s top young talent. Undefeated prospects Austin “Ammo” Williams of Texas, unbeaten Featherweight Raymond Ford of New Jersey, and slick moving super-middleweight prospect Alexis Espino of Las Vegas all take step-up fights and put their undefeated records on the line.
The night before the Canelo vs Smith fight marks the return of Canelo’s arch-rival “GGG” Gennady Golvkin. He returns against mandatory challenger Kamil Szeremet.
Golovkin, who is now 38 years old, is a prohibitive favourite despite looking a bit shaky in his last outing against Sergiy Derevyanchenko in Madison Square Garden last October.
GGG took a controversial unanimous decision in a fight most thought he came up short in. Kamil Szeremeta, an undefeated 31-year-old prospect earned this title shot when he stopped Oscar Cortes on the GGG/Derevyanchenko undercard.
Golovkin was hoping to secure a trilogy with Canelo and had to settle for the mandatory when those negotiations fell through. Szeremeta, a native of Bialystok, Poland is largely unknown outside of boxing hardcore but despite his lack of one-punch power is the younger, more athletic, and quicker fighter and against an aging GGG he may have the right style to upset the future hall of famer.
The undercard is headlined by two other premier super middleweights looking to get in the world title picture. John Ryder who lost a very close decision to Callum Smith last year battles journeyman Mike Guy.
Hard-hitting, undefeated, Kazakh knockout artist Ali Akhmodev will look to move to 17-0 against fellow undefeated prospect Carlos Gongora of Ecuador. The card takes place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida and airs live on DAZN.