Liam "Beefy" Smith (23-0-1, 13 knockouts) of Liverpool, England, defends his light middleweight World Boxing Organization belt against Canelo Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday night on HBO pay-per-view in a fight that is expected to be one-sided. Oddsmakers have listed Alvarez as the heavy favorite at -1200, and Smith at +700.
Alvarez, 26, considered among the best pound-for-pound boxers, has won five consecutive bouts after losing a majority decision to Floyd Mayweather in September 2013. Alvarez is also coming off a vicious knockout victory over English star Amir Khan in May.
Smith, 28, is aware he is facing the toughest challenge of his career.
"I need tests like this because I need a bit of fear in me to win," Smith told BBC Sport.
"I need that fear factor in training otherwise I might get beat by someone I should never lose against, all because I couldn't get up in the morning.
"I don't want that to happen, so this fear I have in training will bring the best out of me when I face Alvarez."
Though he is not in Alvarez's class, Smith is a skilled fighter who is very good at hurting his opponents with solid body shots and boasts a very good uppercut. He has won his last eight fights by knockout.
In the undercard, Diego De La Hoya (15-0, 9 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico, faces Luis Orlando Del Valle (22-2, 16 KOs) of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, in a 10-round super bantamweight fight. Two Californians meet when Joseph Diaz, Jr. (21-0, 12 KOs) defends his NABF featherweight title against Andrew Cancio (17-3-2, 13 KOs).
The featured undercard fight is Gabriel Rosado (23-9, 13 KO) of Philadelphia faces Willie Monroe Jr. (20-2, 6 KO) of Rochester, N.Y. in a 12-round middleweight fight.
A spirited and pro-Mexican crowd is expected to be in attendance to watch Alvarez. Roughly 40,000 tickets were sold by Friday in a fight that takes place on Mexican Independence Day weekend.
Prediction: Smith can't go toe-to-toe with a hard puncher like Alvarez, so he will need to effectively use his jab and hope to find openings to throw some quality power punches. That will be extremely difficult against Alvarez, who is a very good defensive fighter as well as a big slugger. It's hard to see the fight going the distance since Alvarez has so much going for him.
Alvarez by a TKO in the middle rounds
TV Channel: HBO (pay-per-view at $54.99)
Start Time: 9 p.m. ET