Canelo Alvarez vs. Callum Smith Boxing Odds, Predictions & Picks: Where to Find Value In Saturday Night’s Title Fight
Steve Marcus/Getty Images. Pictured: Canelo Alvarez.
- World's No. 1 Pound-for-Pound boxer Canelo Alvarez has been out of the ring for over a year, but his odds (-650 betting favorite) suggest he's still at the peak of his powers.
- Is Callum Smith the man who can knock Canelo off his perch?
- Raheem Palmer previews Saturday's fight, including the smart bet to make in this match.
Alvarez vs. Smith Boxing Odds
Odds as of Friday and via William Hill. Get up to a $150 deposit match and $10 FREE at William Hill today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.
After a year long layoff due to the pandemic and a release from both Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN, boxing’s No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, is back. This Saturday Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KO) returns to fight Callum Smith (27–0, 19 KO) for WBA and WBC Super Middleweight titles at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Canelo has been inactive since his 11th-round stoppage of WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev last November, while Smith has also been inactive for 13 months. At this point in Canelo’s career, it’s hard to find reasons to pick against him. Could this fight against Smith change that? Let’s take a look at the odds and break it down.
Simply the Best
Boxing is the one sport where it’s necessary to be cognizant of who’s the “A-side” and who’s the “B-side”. That’s never been more prevalent than in fights featuring Canelo.
Even when you move past the art of match selection, like the tendency for the top boxers to fight opponents we already know they can beat, there can be shady circumstances surrounding the match (Smith is taking this fight on just 30 days notice). Even deeper, when the fight actually happens, there’s often questionable judgement deciding the outcome.
In Canelo’s last match against Kovalev, he was arguably down in the fight at the time of the stoppage and yet two out of the three judges had Canelo ahead by two rounds with the third judge scoring the fight a draw.
In his 2012 fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr, he was essentially shut out, spending 12 rounds looking perplexed, swinging at air and yet boxing judge C.J Ross scored the fight a 114-114 draw.
If this were any other sport, talk of rigged outcomes and horrible officiating would be seen as counterproductive towards actually picking winning wagers. In boxing, however, it’s a part of the sport and a key factor in handicapping every single event.
That said, knowing the politics of boxing, do I think Smith can win this fight decisively? No, but he is game in this matchup.
At 6-foot-3 with a 78-inch reach, Smith holds a substantial height and reach advantage. Similar to the Kovalev fight, Smith should be able to cause problems keeping Alvarez behind the jab, frustrating him for large parts of this fight. If he can fight off his back foot and keep Canelo on the outside all night, he has a real shot at winning this fight.
However, I’m just not seeing that is a realistic path as Smith likes to trade inside, something you don’t want to do against the better boxer and defensive fighter. Much like he did in the Kovalev fight, I expect Canelo to eventually outbox Smith, gradually breaking him down by delivering punishing shots to the body.
Canelo’s head movement should allow him to step inside against Smith and his long and lean frame should provide a large target for arguably the best body puncher in the sport.
Canelo is the pound-for-pound best boxer in the sport for a reason. He has fought and beat the best competition and outside of a 12-round lesson from Mayweather in 2012, no one has been able to outthink him and outclass him. He’s fought tall fighters, he’s fought fighters with reach, fighters with power, and fighters with speed.
Smith isn’t bringing anything he hasn’t seen before and while he is undefeated, he hasn’t truly been tested — he had problems with John Ryder and Canelo is no John Ryder.
Alvarez vs. Smith Betting Pick
This is a huge step up in class in competition for Callum Smith who’s fighting a guy in Canelo Alvarez who hasn’t allowed a single fighter over 164 pounds to go the distance.
I like Canelo to get a late round stoppage so I’m taking Canelo by KO at +100. If you’re feeling a little less risk averse than me, you can add Canelo Round 10-12 (+450).