Gennady Golovkin’s trainer Tom Loeffler believes that Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has a tough fight on his hands in his title challenge against WBO junior middleweight champion Liam Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) on September 17 at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Loeffler isn’t saying that Canelo will lose to Smith, but he still sees this as a very, very tough fight for Canelo. The weight alone will be a battle for Canelo to prove that he can get down to 154 on fight night. Canelo hasn;t fought at junior middleweight for three years despite the fact that Golden Boy Promotions are saying that he’s a junior middleweight. It’s hard to buy into that argument when your fighter isn’t fighting in that weight class.
The fight is perceived by many boxing fans as an easy fight for the heavier, more powerful Canelo, who will be coming down in weight one pound from his normal weight at 155lbs. Losing an extra pound could be difficult for Canelo, because he’s already rehydrating into the 170s and some think the 180s. We’re talking about a fighter that will be losing 20 to 25 pounds of water weight to make weight for his match against Smith.
This might be a step too far for the 25-year-old Canelo. He’s fighting one division below his fighting weight by taking on Smith, and you can make an argument that Canelo really should be fighting at super middleweight. His promoter Oscar De La Hoya insists that Canelo is a 154lb fighter, but that sounds ridiculous given that he’s rehydrating to what many fans see as the 180s. We don’t see too many 154 pound fighters rehydrating into the 180s, because it would be too hard on them to make weight for the division in the first place. Losing that kind of weight is unhealthy, even if it is for a short period of time in order to make weight.
“Canelo’s not in for an easy fight either,” said Loeffler to IFL TV. “He’s moving down to 154. He’s fighting Liam Smith. He’s got to win that fight and keep winning. Both guys have to keep winning for a monster fight next year. Fans only have to wait one year for that. It’s a lot better than a lot of other fights that took a lot longer. We can’t force people to get into the ring. From my side, I’m trying to build Gennady as big as we can make him with every fight,” said Loeffler.
Canelo needs to keep winning long enough to meet Golovkin in a big mega fight in September of 2017. That’s when Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy say they want to match him against GGG. If Canelo loses to Liam Smith, then it will make a fight against Golovkin not nearly as good an option than it would be if Canelo comes into the fight with some solid wins under his belt. in many ways, Liam Smith is a nightmarish opponent for someone like Canelo, because the British fighter is a murderous body puncher, highly technical, and smart as a whip. Smith adapts quickly to changing circumstances in the ring, and he’s not someone you can beat with a one-dimensional game plan. For Canelo to beat Smith, he’s going to need to shift through game plans and hope that one of them works.
Golovkin has a fight against welterweight Kell Brook on September 10 at the O2 Arena in London, England. Brook’s loyal fans believe that he’s got a good chance of beating Golovkin in this fight, but the more realistic fans see this as an impossible fight for Brook to win. Golovkin has the upper hand in every department in this fight other than the hometown advantage.
The hometown advantage will if anything cause Brook to fight harder, take more chances, and take more punishment. If Brook starts landing shots, the crowd will cheer loudly, and this will make him want to land more shots. That’s where Golovkin will have an opportunity to KO Brook with a single punch. Golvokin has the much better chance to win his fight than Canelo does for his match against Liam Smith simply because Golovkin is fighting in his natural weight class and won’t be dehydrating 20 to 26 pounds like Canelo to melt down to 154 to fight a junior middleweight.