Callum Smith has warned Saul Alvarez that he is the 'No 1' at super-middleweight, if 'Canelo' is tempted to target another title at 168lbs.
The Mexican star was crowned as a four-weight world champion with a brutal stoppage of Sergey Kovalev to claim the WBO light-heavyweight belt, cementing his status as one of the sport's elite fighters.
Liverpool's Smith has been linked with a super fight against Alvarez in the past and believes he should be a natural opponent, if 'Canelo' returns to super-middleweight following a WBA title win over Rocky Fielding last December.
"I think he will come down, whether he goes back to 160[lbs] or 168[lbs], I've no idea," Smith told Sky Sports.
"I've seen an interview, saying he'd consider cruiserweight. I don't know, but if he comes to 168, I believe I'm the No 1 in that division, so he'll have to come and beat me to take that place.
"But I'm not going to waste my career waiting for a fight that might never happen. If it happens, it happens, if it doesn't, there's still plenty of other big fights."
Smith makes his next defence of the WBA 'super' title against John Ryder in his home city on November 23, live on Sky Sports, and the World Boxing Super Series winner intends to produce a dominant win over the dangerous Londoner.
"He's had a career of ups and downs, and he's probably on the biggest up of his career now," said the 29-year-old.
"He's coming off a few good wins in fights where he's probably the underdog, and he's managed to pull it off, so his tail is up so to speak, but I'm in very good form myself.
"I feel I'm in the form of my career. Now I'm ranked No 1 in the world for a reason and I just feel the best version of me beats any version of John Ryder, even if he's at 100 per cent.
"It's more just focusing on myself and I believe the best version of me beats any super-middleweight in the world. As long as I turn up, then I should be a little bit too good for John."
Watch KSI vs Logan Paul 2 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on November 9, live on Sky Sports Box Office.