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Oscar De La Hoya labels Callum Smith “an idiot” for turning down Canelo Alvarez fight

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Promoter Oscar De La Hoya has taken a swipe at WBA super middleweight champion Callum ‘Mundo’ Smith 27-0 (19) for turning down a fight with world middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 53-1-2 (36).

Smith was in negotiations to face Alvarez on May 2 but discussions broke down this week.

“He’s an idiot,” the Golden Boy Promotions CEO told ESPN. “Callum Smith is a good fighter and has an amazing shot of beating Canelo and he turns it down?”

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Liverpool’s Smith, 29, shot to fame in 2018 with a seventh-round stoppage of George Groves in the final of the World Boxing Super Series.

“Callum Smith turned down the fight and he would have made three to four times the money he has ever made and he turned it down,” De La Hoya continued.

“I wish him all the best and hopefully he can make the same money somewhere else.

“But Callum Smith, the most dangerous fighter out there at super middleweight, is out there and he’s bragging how he wants to fight the best and he turns it down?

“What’s wrong with these fighters? What’s happening with the legacies? It’s all business now.”

Smith’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing confirmed they turned down the offer to face Alvarez.

“We turned down the initial offer but, of course, it’s the fight that Callum wants next,” Hearn said. “If we feel the offer is right, he will jump at the chance.”

Two other potential opponents in the frame for Alvarez are Japan’s Ryota Murata 16-2 (13) and WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders 29-0 (14).

“We have a few opponents that we’re looking at,” De La Hoya said. “We’re going to go down the list. And whoever turns it down, on to the next one.

“These days I can’t even mention names because they automatically add zeros to the final number (of dollars they want). I commend Billy Joe Saunders because he went on record saying he wants the fight and would fight Canelo for free, but there are several guys out there.

“I don’t want to mention any names from my mouth, but we will work with anybody. We will just keep going down the list. But it’s an idiotic mistake on their part to turn down a chance to fight Canelo, the biggest star in boxing, and to make the most money.”

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