Canelo’s options for Sept: Andrade, GGG, Kovalev or Smith

By Boxing News - 06/27/2019 - Comments

Image: Canelo's options for Sept: Andrade, GGG, Kovalev or Smith

By Barry Holbrook: Saul Canelo Alvarez will need to make a decision within the next two to three weeks in selecting his opponent for September 14. There are roughly four names that Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions are looking at right now. They are as follows: Gennady Golovkin, Demetrius Andrade, Callum Smith and Sergey Kovalev.

To get the promotion a fair chance, Canelo needs to make a decision almost right away if he wants the fight to bring in a large number of subscribers on DAZN.

Canelo’s choices for September:

Gennady Golovkin: There’s an incentive in Canelo’s contract with DAZN for him to fight Triple G in a third fight. I’m sure DAZN wouldn’t mind if Canelo spends the remaining nine fights of his contract with them endlessly fighting Golovkin, but that’s not going to happen. Canelo wants to do other things with his career, and it appears GGG is only interested in fighting him.

It’s got to be a major negative for Canelo to see Golovkin no longer showing interest in fighting the best. Perhaps the two fights that Golovkin had with Canelo has taken away his self confidence. Whatever it is, Golovkin isn’t helping himself get the third fight with Canelo by choosing not to fight good opposition to earn it.

Demetrius Andrade: This is a non starter for Canelo. With Andrade’s low popularity, Canelo won’t get much credit for beating him. Unifying the middleweight division interests Canelo, but perhaps not enough for him to want to waste time fighting a non-popular fighter like Andrade.

Callum Smith: There’s been zero talk at all of Canelo fighting Callum in September. If there was, Hearn would be spilling his guts to every reporter in the boxing to let them know that Callum is in the running for September. The fact that nothing is being said by Hearn tells you all you need to know about Canelo’s lack of interest in fighting him.

Sergey Kovalev: The WBO light heavyweight champion Kovalev is in negotiations to defend against his mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde next. Kovalev is co-promoted by Top Rank Boxing. The honcho for that company Bob Arum isn’t saying anything about negotiations taking place between him and Golden Boy Promotions for a Canelo vs. Kovalev fight.

Arum is just like Hearn with his tendency to talk up potential fights. For that reason, you have to believe that Canelo has no interest in fighting Kovalev in September. Kovalev, 35, is a bad choice for Canelo to fight at any point in the future, because he’s not considered the best fighter in the 175 pound division. He’s not even considered the third best.

For Canelo to get credit for beating a top light heavyweight, he’ll need to defeat the likes of Artur Beterbiev, Marcus Browne, Dmitry Bivol or Oleksandr Gvozdyk. Those guys are a cut above the aging Kovalev.

Hearn: Canelo will fight GGG soon

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn says Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs will face Golovkin in either September of 2019 or next May. Hearn believes that his fighters Callum Smith and Demetrius Andrade have an excellent chance of fighting Canelo soon, because they have world titles he’s interested in.

“DAZN wants to make Canelo-GGG. It’s the biggest fight out there, aside of Joshua-Ruiz, but Canelo-Kovalev is a huge fight,” said Hearn to IFL TV. “Of course, we have two men in the mix we’re pushing in Callum Smith and Demetrius Andrade or [Maciej] Sulecki. Whoever wins on Saturday, because that’s the undisputed fight. Any event in September, you’ve got to close in the next two weeks, because we’re already in July next week,” said Hearn.

Canelo vs. Andrade unlikely for September

Hearn would like for Canelo to face Demetrius Andrade in September, but that’s not likely to happen. Andrade (27-0, 17 KOs) isn’t a big enough name for Canelo to bother fighting next. What Canelo will probably do is leave Andrade for GGG to fight in September or October. Golovkin will take the fight with Andrade on the understanding that he’ll need to win the WBO title in order to use it as bait to get Canelo to fight him again.

Once GGG, the much bigger name takes the belt from Andrade, then Canelo will likely look his way. If Golovkin decides he doesn’t have to face Andrade in order to get the third fight with Canelo, then he could be out of luck. Canelo has made it clear that Golovkin will need to earn the trilogy match. He’s not going to be able to back into the fight by fighting fringe contenders like Steve Rolls.

Hearn: Canelo has other ideas besides GGG

“I think Canelo has some things he wants to do,” said Hearn. “Maybe move up and do something crazy and fight [Sergey] Kovalev. I’m very, very sure the GGG fight will happen. If not in September, it’ll be in May. Obviously, there’s obligations for both fighters to make that fight happen. It’s just whether it happens next or not,” said Hearn.

Canelo could surprise the boxing world by moving up in weight to fight Callum or Kovalev. Will he do that? Probably not. As this writer has pointed out, Arum and Hearn would have said something already if Canelo were fighting Callum or Kovalev next. That effectively removes those two from the equation for Canelo’s next fight. It could mean that Canelo’s next fight will be either GGG or Andrade. Of those two, DAZN wants Golovkin as Canelo’s opponent, so there’s a good chance he’ll be the one he faces next.

“You can go to Canelo and say this is the undisputed fight,” said Hearn. “I keep saying to Demetrius that you’ve got to keep winning, because this is a huge fight that is coming. You’re the final piece of the jigsaw for the undisputed middleweight championship. Golovkin-Andrade would be a big fight. It would be a chance for Golovkin to win a belt, and fight for the undisputed [middleweight] fight” said Hearn.

“Canelo might want to do it and make history that way. This is a massive fight,” said Hearn. “Sulecki is a great guy. We saw him in a great fight with Daniel Jacobs, and a great fight with [Gabriel] Rosado. He’s never in a bad fight, and he’ll bring the action,” said Hearn.