Hearn expects Canelo to fight Kovalev next
By Aragon Garcia: Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn believes Saul Canelo Alvarez will move up to 175 to challenge WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in his next fight on September 14 on DAZN. Hearn states that he hasn’t been contacted by Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions about setting up a fight between Canelo and WBA Super World 168 pound champion Callum Smith. Eddie doubts that Canelo will fight Callum due to his size, and the way he’s looking lately in knocking guys out in impressive fashion.
Despite Gennady Golovkin’s star having dimmed lately in a loss to Canelo and a poorly conceived decision to face bottom dweller Steve Rolls, Hearn still feels a Canelo-GGG trilogy is the biggest fight in boxing next to the Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. rematch.
Canelo gains more from fighting Kovalev than GGG or Callum
Without question, Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) would receive more attention from boxing fans around the globe in taking on WBO light heavyweight champion Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KOs) than he would in fighting Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs) a third time or challenging WBA Super World super middleweight champion Callum Smith (26-0, 19 KOs). GGG has already been beaten by Canelo, and he’s not showing the willingness to prove himself anymore. Callum lacks the name appeal in the U.S for him to be worth anything as an opponent for Canelo to fight. Callum would be another Rocky Fielding type of fighter in terms of name recognition or lack thereof. Smith is obviously a good fighter, but Canelo wouldn’t receive attention in fighting him. Hearn has arguably done a lackluster job in promoting Callum to try and turn him into a star.
Hearn: Canelo must make a decision in next two weeks
“I know Canelo is about his legacy, and about challenges, and I know he’d like to be undisputed [middleweight] champion,” said Hearn to Chris Mannix’s podcast at Sports Illustrated. “I believe Eddy Reynoso is coming on Saturday, but also having a close look [at Demetrius Andrade vs. Maciej Sulecki], because I think we’re at the decision time.”
Reynoso is Canelo Alvarez’s trainer, and he’ll be at this Saturday’s Demetrius Andrade vs. Maciej Sulecki fight at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. Hearn believes that Reynoso will be scouting out Andrade (27-0, 17 KOs) to help him make a decision whether to fight him next on September 14. Reynoso will be at the Andrade-Sulecki fight because he’s working as a commentator for one of the Mexican television stations. However, Golden Boy Promotions are the ones that decide on Canelo’s opponents, not his trainer. Hearn would like for Canelo to choose Andrade to fight in September, but it’s not looking like that’s going to happen. Andrade is a good fighter, but he lacks charisma, and his resume is woefully poor.
“If you’re fighting in December, then you need to decide in the next two weeks who you’re fighting,” said Hearn. “That’s the issue Canelo has. Who are they going to fight? Is it going to be Golovkin? Is it going to be Kovalev? Could it be Callum Smith? Could it be Demetrius Andrade? I think all these guys are in the mix,” said Hearn.
Golden Boy Promotions obviously has their mind made up by now who they want Canelo to fight in September. It’s probably down to Golovkin and Kovalev in who Canelo will be fighting next. If Golden Boy Promotions were interested in Canelo fighting Andrade or Callum Smith, they would have said something to Hearn by now. The fact that Golden Boy hasn’t spoken to Hearn suggests that Andrade and Callum won’t be selected.
Hearn hasn’t been contacted about Callum Smith fighting Canelo
“Not really, no,” said Hearn when asked if he’s been contacted by Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy to setup a fight with Callum Smith. “We’ve made it clear that we’re good to go for that date [September 14]. I’ve got to say that they’re not queuing up to fight Callum Smith. I know Canelo has talked about fighting Kovalev. Callum Smith is a different kettle of fish. Kovalev is 175. Callum Smith is huge. They [Team Canelo] didn’t really feel comfortable with the size difference in the Rocky Fielding fight, but Callum is bigger, wider and better,” said Hearn.
Some boxing fans feel that Callum Smith is basically a light heavyweight that boils down to 168 to have a size advantage over his opponents in that weight class. Callum is still young, and can boil down to make the 168 pound limit. If Canelo fought Callum, he would likely insist on a rehydration clause to keep him from rehydrating into the 190s. In Callum’s last fight against middleweight Hassan N’Dam on June 1, he looked like a cruiserweight after he rehydrated.
There was virtually no difference in the size between Callum and some of the top cruiserweights like Yunier Dorticos, Mairis Briedis and Krzysztof Glowacki in his last fight against Ndam. Canelo would need to consider a rehydration clause to keep Callum from ballooning up in weight after they weighed in. It would be nice if Callum took some risks with his own career by moving up to light heavyweight and cruiserweight to take on some guys his own size. If Callum could beat some big names in those divisions, he’d have more luck getting guys like Canelo to fight him.
Hearn thinks Canelo wouldn’t dare face Callum Smith
“They like to talk about Callum Smith, but actually would they take the fight? Callum Smith is THE guy at 168, and a guy that could cause a lot of problems,” Hearn bragged. “Golovkin against Callum Smith is a great fight. Canelo against Callum Smith is a great fight.”
Callum isn’t the guy yet at super middleweight, and that’s the entire problem. He hasn’t yet proven himself as the best by beating the talented fighters like David Benavidez and Caleb Plant. Dmitry Bivol volunteered to move down to 168 to face Callum, and Hearn showed zero interest in wanting to make that fight. Why is that? If Callum is The guy at 168, he should have accepted the fight against Bivol, shouldn’t he? Was Callum afraid or was it Hearn that didn’t fancy the idea of making the Bivol fight? Hearn and Callum have been quiet about wanting the Benavidez fight.
Kovalev is likely next opponent for Canelo says Hearn
“For me, knowing what I know internally, and knowing what I’ve listened to, it sounds like the Kovalev fight is the fight that Canelo wants,” said Hearn. “It’s an intriguing fight. You can’t moan about that fight, can you? We all want the GGG [vs. Canelo trilogy] fight. That’s probably the biggest fight in boxing, outside of Joshua-Ruiz, but I think the Kovalev fight is intriguing. But Top Rank and ESPN would be giving up a champion [Kovalev], and I’m not sure [they’ll do it]. Money talks, but we’re running out of time, and he’s [Kovalev] got a mandatory fight due in Russia against Anthony Yarde. So there’s a lot of moving parts,” said Hearn.