Exclusive: ‘Canelo is no monster’ – says Joe Gallagher

Phil Jay 23/07/2016
gallagher verbeek

Liam Smith’s coach Joe Gallagher believes the furore surrounding the power of Canelo Alvarez is unwarranted as the Ring Magazine Trainer of the Year prepares his fighter for battle.

Smith defends his super welterweight title against the Mexican superstar in Texas on September 17 but is already a massive underdog to become only the second fighter, after Floyd Mayweather, to defeat Canelo.

Gallagher is taking a confident Smith into the fight on the back of a string of stoppage wins and sees Canelo as a beatable force who may well have been carefully nurtured by his promoters to amassing his standout 47-1-1 record.

“People make out that Alvarez is a huge monster with destructive power punching but I see him as a good fighter whose had good wins. He’s got a favourable promotional company behind him and he is the Golden Boy at the moment,” Gallagher exclusively told World Boxing News.

“Liam is going to go there, win and win well. We will leave no stone unturned with our preparations.”

“If you look at Alvarez, he’s fought good fighters likes Cotto and Mayweather, so no disrespect to him but if he had more destruction he would have at least wobbled on of them and he didn’t.

“Liam has filled out into a nice solid light middleweight now and he’s got the bit between his teeth. It’s a great opportunity for him. He’s been around the big fights a lot now like when (elder brothers) Paul fought Arthur Abraham and Stephen fought Jose Pedraza. The Quigg and the Crolla shows too.

“With Liam himself being a world champion, he knows what it’s like to go abroad and he won’t be like a rabbit caught in the headlights. He’s very confident in his ability and I think the training camps we’ve had out in L.A over the last few years have stood him in good stead.

“That’s what they are for and now it’s time to feel the benefit. Liam is not going to be in awe of the situation, the environment or the opponent,” he added.

Smith is yet to taste defeat in 24 contests as a pro and has long been vocal about his wish to test himself against the best.

Alvarez certainly is that acid test for the Merseysider, although the fact that the former world champion hasn’t made 154 pounds since facing Mayweather in 2013 may ultimately have some bearing on Smith’s chances in the fight.