Tony Bellew believes Callum Smith can upset Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez with his “size and pressure” if they meet in the ring.
Promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed that Smith’s “opportunity of a lifetime” is “close”.
Bellew told Sky Sports: “I was amazed that Canelo was looking at this fight.
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“He is looking for the biggest test possible and, make no mistake, Smith is the test of a lifetime for Canelo.
“Smith is bigger in size, stronger, undefeated.
“Canelo? I’m not so sure he can deal with the size and the pressure that Smith will bring.
“The biggest shock that Canelo will find? When Callum gets on the inside he is not to be messed with.
“I think Callum can shock the world.
“He will be a heavy underdog because Canelo is pound-for-pound up there with the big boys.
“Canelo is the best counter-puncher in boxing and a devastating body puncher.
“If anyone has the keys to unlock the door, it is Callum.”
The fight would be a defence of Smith’s WBA super-middleweight championship and is targeted for December in the US.
Mexican star Canelo has won belts in four divisions and, last week, became a free agent after severing ties with former promoters Golden Boy.
Smith’s promoter Hearn told Sky Sports: “I’m getting messages saying: ‘I hear it is imminent!’
“It is close.
“We are approaching a period where everyone wants to fight before the end of the year and we are running out of weeks.
“Ultimately Canelo is the boss. He is running the show.
“For Smith? This is the golden chance. But the deal must the right and the prep must be right.
“If we reach a point where he is happy with a deal, we’ve got a fight. But we’re not there yet.
“It is the opportunity of a lifetime for Smith and it’s what we always looked for.
“We didn’t expect it to come in these circumstances but if it presents itself he will grab it with both hands.”
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