Canelo’s next opponent expected to be announced soon for September 17

By Boxing News - 06/24/2016 - Comments

Image: Canelo’s next opponent expected to be announced soon for September 17

By Dan Ambrose: Mexican star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s next opponent is expected to be announced soon for his next fight on September 17 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Canelo, 25, won’t be fighting IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC heavyweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin on this date, because Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions wants the fight to marinate more so that it makes more money when/if it does take place.

Now that Golovkin is out of the picture, Canelo is expected to fight for a world title at junior middleweight on September 17. The fighter that many believe Canelo will be facing is unbeaten WBO 154lb champion Liam Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs).

Smith is arguably the most beatable of the junior middleweight champions in the minds of many boxing fans, and he’s around the same size as Canelo at 5’9 ½”. The 154lb champions that Canelo likely won’t be fighting are Jermell and Jermall Charlo, as well as Erislandy Lara. Those are taller fighters with size, power, boxing skills and talent similar to that of Floyd Mayweather Jr. I’m not saying that Lara and the Charlo brothers are as good as Mayweather, but they bring to the table a lot of similar skills that the former superstar possessed during his reign as the best fighter in boxing.

Canelo was totally clowned by Mayweather in 2013 in losing a 12 round decision in a one-sided fight. In 2014, Canelo won a controversial 12 round split decision over Lara in a fight that fans saw Canelo losing. It’s extremely doubtful that Canelo will ever fight Lara again after that ordeal. Smith, 27, is a very hittable stationary type of fighter that Canelo will likely steamroll over, especially if he rehydrates to 175 to 180.

If Canelo comes into the fight at light heavyweight, Smith will have to chance at all, period. Smith doesn’t pack a lot of weight after he rehydrates for his matches. He’s more of a true junior middleweight. I’d guess that Canelo could have a huge 15 to 20 pound weight advantage over Smith on fight night if he’s the one that gets chosen by Golden Boy, which would seem likely. Smith has defended his WBO title twice in beating Predrag Radosevic and Jimmy Kilrain Kelly in voluntary defenses.

Smith hasn’t been taking any chances whatsoever by taking risky fights since winning the WBO title last October in defeating John Thompson by a 7th round knockout. Smith has fielded a great deal of criticism for him only have to fight Thompson for the WBO 154lb belt rather than someone good like Austin Trout, and then taking two easy defenses against Kelly and Radosevic instead of defending the title against Trout or one of the Charlo brothers.

It’s unknown if Canelo will fight Golovkin in 2017, because there wasn’t an agreement from Team Golovkin that they will fight Canelo next year. Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy said on his Twitter that there was an agreement, but according to Fight News, Team Golovkin is not on board with that. It doesn’t look like Golovkin is going to be led around by his nose by Canelo and Golden Boy.