Hopkins expecting Canelo 'statement' against Smith
Bernard Hopkins believes Gennady Golovkin's impressive victory over Kell Brook could inspire Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez to greater heights when the latter takes on Liam Smith on Saturday.
A potential contest between undefeated middleweight champion Golovkin and Alvarez, whose only career loss came at the hands of Floyd Mayweather in 2013, has been mooted for some time.
Golovkin had too much power for the brave Brook at London's O2 Arena last weekend, the Briton - who stepped up two weight divisions - defeated in the fifth round when his corner threw in the towel.
Former middleweight king Hopkins now expects Alvarez (47-1-1) to put on a show as he attempts to take the WBO light-middleweight title from Smith (23-0-1) at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
"I know for sure that Canelo is coming to make a statement," Hopkins - part of the Golden Boy promotional team - told Omnisport.
"[He has] all of this extra motivation to prove more than one thing. One is winning the fight, second is 'I'm not scared of anybody', third is let's get this fight [against Golovkin] and let's get it next year in 2017.
"He has an opportunity, Canelo, to have a chance to now take three very different topics and put them to bed and get the ball rolling.
"Will it happen, the fight with Canelo and Triple G in 2017? I strongly believe that. We need that commercial from our side now and our side is coming this week.
"He has to mug him. He has to physically mug Smith."
Hopkins was ringside for Golovkin versus Brook and insists the Kazakh is not unbeatable.
"He did what I expected him to do. The strength and the size of Triple G was too much for Kell Brook," added the 51-year-old.
"But you could see a few faults in victory. Triple G went through the motions and going through the motions of anything, you slip, you leave holes for opportunity.
"I saw vulnerability - where a guy he was supposed to just steamroll, a guy he was supposed to overpower, had some success. He [Brook] just didn't have the body strength, the punch and the chin to withstand the wave that's always going to come in the first half of the fight when you're fighting Triple G.
"You don't punch with punchers, you play chess with punchers. And Canelo has the mind to play chess with the punchers and play checkers when he wants to."