Trainer Joe Gallagher has expressed his frustration at the stipulations placed upon his former charge Callum Smith in the lead up to Smith’s super middleweight unification fight with Canelo Alvarez in 2020.
Gallagher stated he believed it wasn’t the best version of Smith on the night, and cited only having time for a short camp and the inability to bring in adequate sparring as being partly to blame for the subpar performance.
Speaking to Boxing Social, he said:
“That loss hit me really hard. There were a number of issues surrounding that fight. He was fighting Canelo with four weeks’ notice and five sparring sessions.”
“We couldn’t get sparring partners in.”
“I’m not making excuses but you can’t have four- or five-weeks training to fight the pound-for-pound best in the world.”
Gallagher went on to say he felt the fight was made to “deliver the belts to Canelo”:
“I just thought at the time – you’re delivering the belts to Canelo; you’re not delivering Canelo for Callum Smith.”
“Fight week proved that. Walking around talking about Canelo’s pyjamas and everything else.”
“It just killed me.”
Gallagher fell short of saying Smith would have beaten Canelo with better circumstances in which to prepare, but said he believes the Liverpudlian would have given a much better account of himself on the night.
“I’m not saying Callum could beat Canelo. Callum did well on the night with what he had. But there’s another version of Callum.”
“I feel that if we’d had the 10 weeks and had the proper sparring, I’m not saying we win, but Canelo would have known he was in a fight more so than he did that night.”
Smith is no longer a part of Gallagher’s stable and has since moved up to light heavyweight in the hope of becoming a two-weight world champion.
Canelo takes to the ring again in a couple of weeks, defending his undisputed super middleweight crown in a trilogy bout with old foe Gennadiy Golovkin on September 17th.