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Canelo’s next fight on September 17 at MGM Grand, Las Vegas

Gennady Golovkin Saul Alvarez

By Dan Ambrose: Mexican star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) will be fighting in three months from now on September 17 against an opponent still to be determined at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Canelo’s promoters have put in a request to the Nevada State Athletic Commission to promote Canelo’s next fight on September 17 at the MGM Grand, according to Dan Rafael.

The opponent for the 25-year-old Canelo will be someone selected from the following list of fighters: Liam Smith, Billy Joe Saunders, Shawn Porter, Gennady Golovkin, and David Lemieux. This is a list from Golden Boy Promotions Senior Vice President Eric Gomez. What’s interesting about the list is how few junior middleweights it contains.

If Canelo sees himself as a 154lb fighter, then he should be looking to comb the junior middleweight ranks for his next opponent rather than adding welterweights and fighters from the middleweight division.

“There’s also a date request to NSAC by Golden Boy Boxing to promote a Sept. 17 card at MGM Grand. That’s for Canelo’s next fight. #boxing,” said Dan Rafael on his Twitter.

Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya said Canelo recently vacated his WBC middleweight title because they didn’t want to negotiate with Golovkin under a deadline by the WBC. However, there has been no negotiations since Canelo gave up his WBC title. The question is will Golden Boy restart the Canelo-Golovkin negotiations are will they do what many boxing fans think they’ll do and put together fight against either WBO junior middleweight champion Liam Smith or the Golden Boy promoted David Lemieux.

With Canelo fighting on the Mexican Independence Day holiday weekend on September 17 on HBO, it’s likely that he’ll need to fight someone like Lemieux for the fight to be a pay-per-view worthy fight.

There’s no word from Golden Boy whether Canelo’s next fight will be on PPV or not, but you have to believe it will be, given that it’s taking place on the Mexican Independence Day Holiday weekend. If Canelo doesn’t fight Triple G on that date, then they’ll need to fight someone like David Lemieux at the very least for it to be a PPV worthy match. WBA middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs is already fighting Sergio Mora, so he won’t be able to fight Canelo. Liam Smith isn’t well known enough for him to be a viable opponent for Canelo to fight on HBO PPV.

If Golden Boy tries to sell Canelo-Smith on PPV, it’ll likely wind up as one of the worst PPV efforts for Canelo ever. However, Golden Boy might be able to recoup some of the lost PPV buys from the American market by taking advantage of the UK PPV buys the fight brings in. Unfortunately, Liam Smith isn’t a huge star in the UK either, so it’s unclear if he’s really viable option for Canelo.

Canelo can pick up an easy paper title if he faces WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders in September. Saunders has a decent following in the UK, so Canelo might be able to wet his beak a little on the British PPV money. If Canelo wins the WBO 160lb title, he can dodge the Golovkin fight forever because he would be in a separate lane and there would be no way to force a fight between the two. However, the pressure from the boxing public for Canelo to fight GGG would likely continue.

Canelo has been pretty resistant to pressure though, and he might not care how much pressure the fans put on him to take the fight with the Kazakhstan fighter. If Canelo wins the WBO middleweight title and continues fighting at 155lb catch-weights, he can argue that he’s not a true middleweight yet.

Canelo’s last two fights on HBO haven’t had his rehydrated weights before he stepped into the ring against Amir Khan and Miguel Cotto, so the fans can only guess that Canelo is rehydrating into the 170s or 180s for his fights. They can’t know for sure how heavy he is and have to go by what he says. If Canelo says he’s not a true middleweight, then you have to go by what he says.

It’ll be a huge let down for boxing fans if Canelo doesn’t fight Golovkin on September 17, but it’s not news that he’s not in a hurry to make that fight and neither are his promoters at Golden Boy.

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