What Does Eleider Alvarez Think About Joe Smith Jr?
Now healthy following an injury scare, Eleider Alvarez is ready to prove he can once again hold a world title. What he is not ready to do is take his opponent lightly.
Alvarez (25-1) will be taking on Joe Smith Jr. this weekend, August 22, from inside the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The winner will face the winner of Umar Salamov v. Maxim Vlasov to determine a new WBO Light-Heavyweight Champion. This is after Canelo Alvarez beat Sergey Kovalev for the title but relinquished it soon after.
Speaking with The Ring, Alvarez discussed what we can expect from a game opponent in Smith (25-3).
“It’s a very good challenge for me,” Alvarez stated. “Joe Smith always brings everything he has to the ring, it will be a great match for the fans. Smith is maybe not the fighter with the most ability, but he brings power and courage.”
Alvarez last fought in January, beating Michael Seals via KO in the seventh round. He won the WBC Continental Americas Light-Heavyweight Title in the process. A former WBO Light-Heavyweight Champion, Alvarez lost the title to Sergey Kovalev back in February 2019 after initially beating him for it. It was the first loss of his career, and he has won big fights against the likes of Jean Pascal, Lucian Bute, and Ryno Liebenberg.
Smith is 2-2 in his last four fights. “The Irish Bomber” also last fought in January, beating Jesse Hart via split decision. A former WBC International Light-Heavyweight Champion, Smith has only fought for a world title once. Back in March, the 30-year-old lost to Dmitry Bivol for the WBA Light-Heavyweight Title.
At 36, Alvarez may still have the explosive power that has resulted in 13 wins via knockout. That is according to trainer Marc Ramsay. With confidence in his ability, Alvarez is ready to take down his formidable foe and get back to the top of the mountain.
“My ultimate goal is to be a two-time world champion,” Alvarez went on to say.