Julio Cesar Chavez Sr, the greatest fighter in the long and glorious boxing history of Mexico, believes Callum Smith presents a real threat to the nation’s current superstar Canelo Alvarez.

WBA Super 168lbs title-holder Smith will face Canelo at a venue to be decided in Texas on December 19, with some overlooking the champion after his narrow points win over Islington southpaw John Ryder in November 2019.

But Chavez believes Smith’s size and pedigree make him a worthwhile and dangerous foe. At 6ft 3ins, the Liverpool man towers over the stocky, 5ft 8ins Canelo with a sizeable reach advantage of around eight inches. Disregard Smith at your peril, says the great Chavez.

“Smith is a tall fighter, extremely tall. He looked lousy in his last fight, and a lot of people think he lost that fight [with Ryder]. From there, Canelo liked him [as a potential opponent],” Chavez told ESPN Deportes.

“But he is an opponent that you have to watch out for. He is a very tall fighter for the division and that is what Canelo has to deal with.

“He was seen by many as an ordinary boxer in his last fight, but he is a first-class opponent. We all have a bad night in the ring. The logic is that Canelo wins, but anything can happen in the ring.

“Smith had a bad night [vs Ryder], but it’s going to be very different when he fights Canelo.”