This is a good match up between two top 10 guys in the Light heavyweight division. Eleider Alvarez is coming off a good win versus Michael Seals though before that did lose his rematch with Sergey Kovalev. Joe Smith Jr is coming off one of the best wins of his career versus Jessie Hart where he performed well.
Eleider Alvarez is a very skilled champion who has good technical skills. He is patient and doesn’t throw massive amounts of punches. When he does let his hands go his punches are accurate and hurtful. All of his punches have a purpose to them and he doesn’t just throw a punch to throw a punch. He’s shown he has a good chin as he’s gone 12 rounds with multiple big punchers including Kovalev and Jean Pascal. He has a good gas tank and seems to be quite a young 36 without too many miles on the clock. He has had a few injuries recently but he’s fully recovered now and should be fit for this fight.
Joe Smith Jr normally fights on the front foot and pressures his opponents with constant activity. He’s not technically the best and has shown he can be out-boxed by skilled fighters like Dmitry Bivol. He has decent foot speed but not the best footwork and if he could improve this he could cut the ring off much better. He does have huge power and if he connects cleanly he’ll likely put his opponents down. His one big moment in the Bivol fight was when he rocked him right at the end of a round and if that round hadn’t ended then he could have potentially stopped Bivol and became world champion. His defence isn’t great but its not horrible and he has a good chin.
I think Eleider Alvarez will win this fight by decision because he has the better technical skills and will be able to out-box Joe Smith Jr. I believe Smith can win if he can keep his pressure up for 12 rounds and Alvarez shows he’s on the decline but otherwise I see Alvarez winning. It goes without saying that Joe Smith Jr could win by knockout as he’s got the power to stop anyone in the division in my opinion.