SAN ANTONIO – Callum Smith has seen some suspect scorecards submitted after multiple Canelo Alvarez fights.
The unbeaten Brit obviously realizes, too, that he is the undeniable “B” side of their fight Saturday night at Alamodome, where a completely pro-Alvarez crowd of roughly 12,000 figures to cheer the Mexican superstar’s every move. Smith still is confident he’ll get the victory he deserves if he decisively defeats Alvarez in their 12-round, 168-pound title fight (DAZN or pay-per-view for $69.99).
The 30-year-old Smith (27-0, 19 KOs) doesn’t feel pressure to knock out Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs), whose granite chin has served him well throughout his 15-year, Hall-of-Fame career.
“Listen, if it was me looking at someone else in this position, I’d probably agree,” Smith told BoxingScene.com. “But when it’s you, you always feel you’re gonna get a fair shake. I can’t go in and leave me tactics behind and just swing and look for the knockout, because you leave yourself open. I’ve gotta just do what I do.
“If I’m winning rounds and winning them convincingly, then I believe I’ll win the fight on points. If I catch him and hurt him, I believe I can get rid of him. I believe I’m a good finisher, but I can’t just base me whole tactics on I’ve gotta get the knockout because, you know, that’d be stupid.”
Alvarez’s most infamous nods on the cards have occurred in Las Vegas.
Judge CJ Ross scored his 12-round fight against Floyd Mayweather a draw in September 2013 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. The legendary five-division champion clearly defeated Alvarez in their junior middleweight title bout, which was reflected on the cards of judges Craig Metcalfe (117-111) and Dave Moretti (116-112).
Alvarez also earned a debatable split-decision victory over Erislandy Lara in their 12-round, 154-pound bout in July 2014 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Judge Jerry Roth scored that fight for Lara (115-113), but he was overruled by Levi Martinez (117-111) and Moretti (115-113).
Three years later, Alvarez fought to a controversial split draw with Gennadiy Golovkin in their first middleweight title fight.
Moretti scored Golovkin a 115-113 winner of that 12-rounder in September 2017 at T-Mobile Arena and Don Trella had it even, 114-114. Adalaide Byrd absurdly scored Alvarez a 118-110 victor over Golovkin that night.
“He obviously has, and I’ve witnessed some of them,” Smith said of Alvarez benefiting from some questionable scoring. “But when it’s me, if the bell goes and I believe I win the fight and I don’t get it, that’d be out of me hands. But I’ll know, hand on heart, I’ll believe I won. I’ll be happy with me own self and me own performance. But the judges, that’s out of me hands. I can’t really control that. I’ve just gotta do my job the best I can.”
California’s Steve Morrow, Texas’ Rafael Ramos and New Jersey’s Steve Weisfeld have been assigned to judge the Alvarez-Smith fight for Smith’s WBA “super” 168-pound championship and the vacant WBC super middleweight title. Texas’ Jon Schorle will be the referee.
Alvarez will fight for the second time in San Antonio.
He beat Austin Trout by unanimous decision in April 2013 at Alamodome. Judges Rey Danesco (115-112) and Oren Shellenberger (116-111) scored that competitive 12-round, 154-pound title fight for Alvarez by reasonable margins, but Stanley Christodoulou credited Alvarez for a much wider win (118-109).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.