As BoxingScene.com previously reported, former light heavyweight world champion Eleider Alvarez has agreed to face Joe Smith Jr in July in Las Vegas.
The co-promoter for Alvarez (25-1, 14 KOs), Top Rank, has not set a concrete date for this World Boxing Organization (WBO) eliminator. For the moment, Bob Arum and his team are juggling between the evenings of July 14 and 16 at the MGM Grand.
"It's a big challenge for me," said Alvarez in an interview with Mathieu Boulay of Le Journal de Montréal. "It's not a surprise to me because I expected to face him after my victory against Michael Seals. He has a good power punch and he puts a lot of pressure on his opponents. I predict a good fight."
This gala is part of a series that will be presented by Top Rank on the ESPN network, starting on June 9. Of course, everything is conditional on the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic being controlled in Nevada.
The winner of Alvarez-Smith will face the winner of another eliminator, between Umar Salamov (25-1, 19 KOs) and Maxim Vlasov (45-3, 16 KOs), for the vacant WBO belt, in early 2021.
Marc Ramsay is wary of Joe Smith, an opponent he has been analyzing on videos for some time.
"He's not someone with the greatest boxing skills," said Alvarez's coach.
"On the other hand, what he has in the tank, he gives you 110%. I expect a fight where Eleider will have to pay the price to win it. It could be very physical because Smith doesn't hesitate to use his strength in short distance sequences. He also has a good power punch."
Ramsay will have to be ingenious to prepare his boxer in anticipation of this fight. His gymnasium is not yet open, even if it is private. Normally, only his boxers can train there
“I started boxing again last week with Marc outside. It had been three weeks since I started my physical preparation. I was hurting everywhere in the first few days, but it's getting better, ”said Alvarez.