Perfectionist Callum Smith’s obsessive preparation to prove key v Canelo Alvarez

Callum Smith is hoping his attention to detail will be the downfall of Canelo Alvarez.

It certainly won't be child's play for the Liverpool fighter to upset one of the best boxers on the planet.

Smith will make sure he has ticked off every box to make sure everything has been done right ahead of his clash with the Mexican great this weekend in San Antonio, Texas.

And it's not just in the gym that the WBA super-middleweight champion is a perfectionist as daughter Alba recently found out.

“I'm not OCD, I don't have the radio on certain numbers,” said Smith, 30. “But if I'm doing something I try to do it right.

“I was colouring in with my little girl, she's two next month, my missus came over and I'd basically coloured it all in myself.

“I try do everything the best I can. It's a good thing, if you try to do it then do it correct.

“With me, I'm a perfectionist. The minute I chose boxing I just wanted to be the best I could be.

“I wouldn't say I'm obsessive in that I train 24 hours a day and you have to hold me back, I'm not that.

“But I'm obsessive in that if I want to do something then I want to do it right.

“If my trainer Joe shows me a combination, I will try to perfect it the best I can. I feel that is why I'm in the position I am today.

“I'm not the fastest, I'm not the strongest, I'm not one of these gifted athletes but I do everything correct and I try really hard to perfect everything. I think that is why I'm in the position I am in.”

Smith had to bide his time to get his shot at Canelo with less than five weeks notice given by the Mexican that he would be the man to get the shot at the pound-for-pound star.

But the unbeaten WBA champ – 27-0 as a pro – has been working for much longer in anticipation of a deal getting signed.

“I knew I had to train and tick over just in case,” he said. “That was tough training for a fight I knew might never happen but it had to be done.

“It has always been drilled into me over the years to always be in good enough shape so when the phone call comes you can take it.

“I'd have kicked myself if the call came and I wasn't in the best shape and had to turn it down. I may never have got another chance.

“If I didn't believe I wouldn't be ready, I wouldn't have taken it.”

Of course, Smith has experience of being around the Mexican even before this week as his older brother Liam took him on in 2016.

Alvarez stopped the elder Smith in the ninth round in Dallas to become the WBO light-middleweight champion.

But now he is facing a bigger challenge – quite literally – in Callum who has a six-inch height and eight-inch reach advantage over Alvarez.

This year we've already seen Vasiliy Lomachenko come unstuck against Teofimo Lopez being the smaller man at lightweight but this would be an even bigger shock.

“He's up there as the pound for pound best, he's a really good fighter, I just think stylistically and the weight I do think I've got the beating of him as long as I get it right stylistically and tactically,” added Smith.

“I'm not saying I'm a better fighter than him but we've seen with Lomachenko and Lopez what can happen.

“Loma is a great fighter, but there is only so much size your ability can make up for and there comes a point where someone is big and good they can beat you.”

Canelo v Smith is live on the DAZN app from 1am on Sunday morning which is available for £1.99 a month

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