Canelo Alvarez believes WBA Super 168lbs champion Callum Smith will prove a worthy foe when they meet in Texas on December 19.

The bout will be the Mexican superstar’s first since severing ties with long-time promoter Golden Boy Promotions as he seeks to end a frustrating year of inactivity and legal issues on a high note.

Now a free agent, Canelo will meet Smith in a one-off fight on DAZN, having previously agreed an early departure from a long-term, $365 million deal with the streaming network in conjunction with his split with Golden Boy.

“[Smith] is a fighter who comes forward looking for a fight, who does not give you a chance to breathe, to get your rhythm going,” Canelo told TV Azteca. “He is a fighter who has many qualities, a lot of power, too, but we are ready for this and for more. 

“I think at these levels we have to fit in with everything with the experience we have and it will be a great fight. I’m ready for this and these kinds of challenges are the ones I like in boxing to keep going and make history.

“For me the money is the least of it [the promotional split with Golden Boy and long-term DAZN deal]. Obviously, I always want to have my family doing well and I get in there to give my life for something, to have a better life, but the truth is that I love boxing and for me money means less, but I think I’m going to do much better as a free agent.

“I am going to be able to make the best fights and now I am going to decide each thing in my business matters and I think I will do much better. I trust god and I have always said that what is done well cannot go wrong and we are going to do better. In the end, what I want is to be able to work with all the promoters and to be able to make the best fights for the public.”