ONLY those in the know are giving Liam Smith a chance of upsetting Canelo Alvarez in Saturday’s showdown for the Englishman’s WBO super-welterweight title, according to the champion’s trainer Joe Gallagher. And that includes Team Canelo, and his promoters Golden Boy, who today gave Smith incredible praise by comparing him to legendary former middleweight king, Carlos Monzon.

“Even the British press are not giving us a chance in this fight,” Gallagher said. “But when you listen to guys like Freddie Roach and Virgil Hunter do interviews and say that Liam Smith has got a very strong chance in this fight, and the chance of pulling off an upset, they are the guys you need to listen to.”

“I see the criticism that Team Canelo are getting for taking this fight and it’s unfair. Amir Khan has come out [in this week’s edition of Boxing News] and picked Liam Smith to beat Saul Alvarez. Khan has sparred Liam, he’s fought Alvarez, and he’s come out on record to pick Liam Smith to win this weekend.”

“They [Team Canelo] know they’re in a serious fight.”

Canelo’s trainers Eddy and Chepo Reynoso agreed: “It’s a serious fight. Everyone is talking about what’s next and this and that – that’s far from our mind. We’re concentrating on Saturday night. Saul is fully focused on this fight.”

But the greatest endorsement was delivered by Golden Boy’s Eric Gomez, who went as far as comparing unbeaten Smith to Argentine Carlos Monzon – widely regarded as one of the very best fighters in history.

“Nobody really knows Liam Smith and it’s unfair,” Gomez explained. “It’s his first time fighting in the States and this is a real champion. Think about all the great fighters. At one point Carlos Monzon was unknown, and he was undefeated, and he was knocking everybody out. So we see Smith like Carlos Monzon, but people just don’t know it yet. He might be the greatest fighter ever, he just hasn’t had the opportunity yet. When you have a fighter who is undefeated, they don’t know how to use, and they go in with that attitude. It’s a very dangerous fight.”