Liam Smith has asked for “respect” from the judges when he defends his WBO light-middleweight title against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in Texas.
Britain’s Smith (23-1-0, 13 KOs) will make the third defence of the belt he won from American John Thompson last October, but is the big underdog against Canelo, of Mexico, whose only defeat in 49 professional bouts came at the hands of Floyd Mayweather on points three years ago.
And speaking at the weigh-in, where both fighters were right on the 11-stone limit, Smith said: “If I win the fight then make sure I get the decision.
“Give me the respect I deserve. I’m the champion, even though I am the B-side.”
He added: “Canelo’s the big name. It’s Mexican Independence Day, so I know that. But I hope they’ll respect that I’m champion and be fair.”
Canelo knocked out Smith’s compatriot Amir Khan in his last fight, but vacated his WBC belt in order to delay negotiations with WBA and IBF champions Gennady Golovkin.
Smith, 28, has rejected the notion he is in a win-win situation as underdog and wants to establish himself on the world stage.
“I’m not in a situation where I have nothing to lose in this fight. I’ve got a title to lose,” he said.
“I’ve taken this fight because it’s an opportunity to make a name for myself and establish myself as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.”