Hearn: ‘We’ve got 2 more fighters for Canelo’
By Barry Holbrook: Eddie Hearn says Saul Canelo Alvarez came up to him last Saturday night after his win over Daniel Jacobs and asked him who he has next for him to fight from his Matchroom Boxing stable. Hearn said he’s got WBO 160-pound champion Demetrius Andrade and WBA Super World super middleweight champion Callum Smith for Canelo to fight, but he expects him to face former middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) in a trilogy fight in his next fight in September on DAZN.
Hearn doesn’t say what makes him believe that Alvarez will be fighting GGG next, but it’s possible that DAZN will ask for that fight to be made. It’s important that Canelo take on the 37-year-old Golovkin as soon as possible due to his advancing age. It won’t be helpful for DAZN if Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy freeze GGG out until he loses to someone else, and that causes the fan interest in a third Canelo vs. Golovkin fight to disappear overnight.
“When I left the arena on Saturday, he [Canelo] came over to me and I said, ‘Well done.’ As he walked off, he went, ‘Hey Eddie, who have you got next for me?’ He’s beaten Fielding, now Jacobs and now we’ve got two more for him; Smith and Andrade,” Hearn said to Boxing Social.
It’s unclear whether Hearn speaks Spanish or if Canelo came up to him and spoke the words that he says he did. What’s clear is that Hearn BADLY wants Canelo to fight his two guys Callum Smith (25-0, 18 KOs) and Demetrius Andrade (27-0, 17 KOs) sooner rather than later. Both are with DAZN, and both unbeaten world champions in their respective divisions. What Callum and Andrade lack is name recognition with the casual boxing fans in the U.S, and large bases. Callum, 28, is popular in his hometown of Liverpool in the UK, but nowhere else. He’s not hugely popular in the rest of England or in Ireland or Scotland.
“They’re always talking about Canelo’s possible options, and Callum Smith is always mentioned,” Eddie Hearn said to Boxing Social in discussing what Golden Boy Promotions brass says about wanting to make a fight between Canelo and Callum Smith. ”You’ve got the #1 Ring Magazine 160 pounder against the #1 Ring Magazine 168 pounder [Callum]. I do expect Canelo to fight GGG next in September, and then we’ve got two fights for him in Callum Smith, and [Demetrius] Andrade. Andrade is the link to the undisputed [middleweight championship]. So he’ll fight Andrade, and then move up and fight Canelo Smith,” Hearn said.
The fighter that Canelo might have the most problems with at super middleweight is former WBO 160-lb champion Billy Joe Saunders, who moves a lot and has a slick fighting style that would trouble almost anyone at 168. Canelo might not ever fight Saunders, because that’s a guy that would make him look bad potentially. Saunders has wanted to fight Canelo for a long time, but there hasn’t been interest on his or his promoters at Golden Boy’s part to put that match together. Callum Smith is more of a stationary, slow-handed plodder that Canelo does well against. Callum is being hyped up a lot right now by Hearn due to him capturing the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight tournament last September with his win over George Groves in the final. Callum didn’t beat a healthy Groves though. Groves was fighting with one arm. He was coming off of shoulder surgery on his left shoulder, and he barely used that arm during the fight. Afterwards, Groves retired. Some believe that Groves hung up his gloves because of his left shoulder problem. Callum didn’t look special in that fight. Groves was so limited with what he could do in the fight, it made Callum better than he is. Callum’s other two victories in the WBSS tournament weren’t that impressive against Nieky Holzken and
Erik Skoglund. Callum showed power in those fights, but he didn’t look devastating.
Canelo, 28, wants to fight for the final middleweight title that he needs to unify the 160-pound division, but won’t be able to do that in September due to Andrade not having enough time to prepare for the fight after his June 29th title defense against mandatory challenger Maciej Sulecki. Even if Andrade did volunteer to still take the fight with Canelo in September, Golden Boy and DAZN can’t wait until June 29th to nail down the next opponent for Alvarez’s fight in September. Golden Boy needs to put together a fight with Canelo’s next opponent as soon as they can so that they can begin marketing the contest. Callum has a fight on June 1, so even he’s not a good option for Canelo’s next fight. Alvarez said he wants to fight WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev, but he’s got a title defense due against his mandatory Anthony Yarde this summer. Canelo likely won’t face Kovalev until after he fights Callum Smith at super middleweight. It would be too much of a jump for Canelo to go from fighting Daniel Jacobs to facing a big fighter like Kovalev.
”He’s not a massive middleweight,” Hearn said about the 5’8” Canelo. ”He can fight at 168 for sure. He has a disadvantage for him in terms of size, because Callum is a monster at 168. [Sergey] Kovalev is a whole new challenge at 175. I think it’s an intriguing fight, Callum Smith and Canelo, as is the Andrade fight, as is the Golovkin fight. If he’s willing to go Jacobs, Golovkin, Callum Smith, Andrade or vice a versa, you’ve got to take your hat of to him. He’s fighting the very best out there,” Hearn said.
Canelo won’t be at a disadvantage against Callum Smith when the 6’3” fighter is staying on the outside, because he doesn’t like to fight at range. Smith prefers to fight at close to medium range, which means he’s going to be in Canelo’s punching range at all times against him. Smith was hit a lot in his fights against Holzken, Groves, Skoglund and Vladine Biosse. Smith doesn’t have a great resume for a seven year pro. Aside from Smith’s fight with Groves, he’s not taken on any big names. We don’t know how good Smith is because the best guy he beat, Groves, had a bad shoulder. Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy obviously see weakness in Smith. If they felt he was a solid guy, they likely wouldn’t be talking about him. Golden Boy doesn’t mentioned David Benavidez, Dmitry Bivol or Artur Beterbiev. Those are all solid fighters that would be a nightmare for Canelo.