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Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders “STRONG possibility” next – Eddie Hearn

Image: Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders "STRONG possibility" next - Eddie Hearn

By Tim Royner: Eddie Hearn says there’s a “strong possibility” the Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders will be happening next between the two super middleweight champions. Just in case that this fight doesn’t take place, Hearn says he’ll match Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) against Callum Smith or Demetrius Andrade.

The timing for Saunders to get a fight against Canelo is horrible. Saunders looked like an old man last Saturday in defeating Marcelo Coceres at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. This was supposed to be an easy fight for Saunders, as Hearn picked Coceres from near the bottom of the WBO’s rankings. But Saunders is getting old, and he’s struggling now even against weak opposition.

Hearn is underestimating how little interest there is from American boxing fans in seeing Canelo Alvarez face Billy Joe Saunders. That would be a fight just as bad as Canelo’s match last year against Rocky Fielding. Saunders is about as popular in the U.S as Fielding. In other words, Saunders is invisible to the average American boxing fans. They don’t know him, and the ones that do dislike the way he fights.

It’s hard to imagine DAZN being agreeable to letting Canelo use up on of his fights on his contract in facing Saunders. It won’t bring in a lot of new subscribers on DAZN, and Canelo’s numbers at the gate have been dropping lately.

Smith (26-0, 19 KOs) is defending his WBA Super World super middleweight title on November 23 against mandatory John Ryder (28-4, 16 KOs) at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, UK. Hearn says he’ll match the winner of that fight up with Saunders if he can’t set up the Canelo-Saunders match.

It’s obvious that Callum have no problems defeating ‘The Gorilla’ Ryder on November 23, but Hearn is being nice by saying that the winner of that fight is the Plan-B option for Saunders if no Canelo match.

Hearn confident Saunders gets Canelo fight NEXT

“Strong possibility,” said Hearn to IFL TV about Saunders facing Canelo in May. “You’ve got Callum Smith next week. For me, Callum Smith or the winner of that fight against Billy Joe is a natural unification, and that would be the fight that happens if he doesn’t get Canelo. I also like the Demetrius Andrade fight. So I’ll probably make him an offer for that fight,” said Hearn.

Canelo is coming off of a good win over WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev on November 2. He moved up 2 weight classes to stop Kovalev in round 11. For Canelo to move back down to 168, he would want to fight a name guy. Saunders fails to check of the boxes that Canelo would need to impress the American fans.

This is what Saunders has going against him in landing the Canelo fight:

  • Not well known with U.S fans
  • Coming off poor performance against Marcelo Coceres
  • Ugly fighting style
  • No names on his 10-year resume other than Chris Eubank
  • Likes to spoil

If Canelo fights Saunders, he’s going to get laughed at by a lot of fans, because there are so many better options. The fans want to see Canelo show some backbone and fight Artur Beterbiev, Dmitry Bivol, Callum Smith, Demetrius Andrade or Jermall Charlo. He can’t fight Gennadiy Golovkin next May, because the Kazakhstan fighter has his IBF mandatory due against Kamil Szeremeta.


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