Will Canelo fight Liam Smith or Lemieux in September?

By Boxing News - 06/17/2016 - Comments


By Dan Ambrose: Golden Boy Promotions Vice President Eric Gomez said this week that he’ll be talking with Gennady Golovkin’s management this Monday to see if a fight between GGG and Golden Boy fighter Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is something they would see as beneficial for September.

It’s thought by many fans that Golden Boy won’t let the popular Canelo take the fight against Golovkin this year because of the potential of him getting roasted and plucked clean by the Kazakhstan fighter. If Golden Boy doesn’t let Canelo fight Golovkin (or if Canelo doesn’t want the fight himself), then the likely two candidates for Canelo to fight is WBO junior middleweight champion Liam Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) or former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux (35-3, 32 KOs).

Those aren’t popular choices, as neither of those guys are seen as appealing options by the fight fans due to their flawed talent.

Miguel Cotto would be a potential option for Canelo except that Cotto is considering a fight against 42-year-old Juan Manuel Marquez for later this year. If the Cotto-Marquez fight takes place in 2016, then there won’t be a rematch between Canelo and Cotto until either May or September 2017. It’ll be one of those months. They can’t let the rematch go too far into the future, because Cotto is getting up there in age and is about to turn 36. It wouldn’t be good for Cotto to wait too long before he faces Canelo again for his own sake.

Dan Rafael doesn’t see the Golovkin vs. Canelo fight taking place this year, and he’s been consistent with that belief for a while now. “I do not think they fight this fall like you said. I hope I am wrong. If they dont either could possible fight Liam Smith,” said Rafael during his chat at ESPN.com. “I think there’s a decent chance Canelo would face David Lemieux.”

Lemieux, 27, is co-promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, and I’m sure they would rather not use him at this time to put him in with Canelo, because he still hasn’t rebuilt his career since his 8th round knockout loss to Golovkin last October at Madison Square Garden in New York. Lemieux has fought only once since his loss to Golovkin, beating Glen Tapia by a 4th round knockout last month on May 7 on the undercard of Canelo’s mismatch against welterweight Amir Khan at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

I’m sure Golden Boy would like to see Lemieux put together at least three or four wins before they feed him to Canelo, because it’ll hard for the boxing fans to get excited about paying to see Canelo fight Lemieux on HBO PPV. It’s likely that Golden Boy will make the Canelo vs. Lemieux fight a PPV bout rather than putting it on regular HBO. How can fans want to pay to see Canelo fight Lemieux when they just recently saw Golovkin take him apart just last October.

It would be a move of desperation on Golden Boy’s part if they made the Canelo vs. Lemieux fight in September rather than waiting until Lemieux builds his career back up. I don’t think Golden Boy will make the Canelo-Lemieux fight in September because they’ll see it as too soon for that move. They’ll want to let the fight marinate before they put it together.

“We’re going to sit down with Tom Loeffler. If it’s something that benefits all of us — whether it’s time to do the fight in September, whether there’s enough time to put a great promotion together — we’re going to give it a real shot,” said Gomez to ringtv.com. “We’re going to see exactly what they’re looking for and if we can make it happen, we’ll make it happen. And if not, then there’s a slew of other guys out there.”

I get the feeling that it won’t be beneficial to Golden Boy to feed their golden goose Canelo to Golovkin in September or in 2017 for that matter. For that reason, I do not see them making that fight. The only potential candidate left after you remove Cotto and Lemieux from the Canelo equation is Liam Smith, unfortunately.

There’s no way that Golden Boy will match Canelo up against the Charlo brothers, Demetrius Andrade or Erislandy Lara for his September fight, because those guys could maybe beat him and they don’t want that to happen. Gomez spoke of Canelo having lots of options for his next fight, but I don’t believe he does. I see Liam Smith as being Canelo’s only easy mark option, and that’s what I think Golden Boy is looking for.