Canelo Alvarez will fight Callum Smith or Saunders next – Hearn
By Dan Ambrose: Saul Canelo Alvarez will be challenging either WBA super middleweight champion Callum Smith or WBO belt holder Billy Joe Saunders next, says promoter Eddie Hearn.
If Saunders (24-0, 12 KOs) and Smith (27-0, 19 KOs) don’t get the Canelo fight, then they’ll face each other, says Hearn. It’ll be interesting to see if that happens though, since Saunders and Smith have been talking about fighting each other for a LONG time, and they’ve never done it.
Hearn seems dead certain that Canelo will be facing Saunders or Callum. Hearn says that WBO 160-lb champion Demetrius Andrade has outside chance of getting the Canelo fight. In other words, Hearn looks like he’s guessing who Canelo fight. The U.S boxing fans have no interest in seeing Canelo fight Andrade, Callum or Saunders. The fans want to see Canelo fight these guys:
- Gennadiy Golovkin
- Jermall Charlo
- Artur Beterbiev
- Dmitry Bivol
Canelo moving back down to 168
In one of the rare instances in his career, Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) vacated his WBO light heavyweight title this week. His reason for giving up is he had no choice but to as it would have meant that he would have lost his titles at 160 and 168. At this point in Canelo’s career, he doesn’t need world titles to validate him in the eyes of the boxing public.
The belts are more adornment for decoration purposes, because the boxing fans don’t much attention. Canelo even before he had a title. Case in point, he was the A-side when he challenged IBF/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin as a belt-less challenger back in 2017 .
Hearn: I believe Callum or Saunders will get Canelo fight
“I think if neither [Callum] Smith or [Billy Joe] Saunders get the Canelo fight, they’ll fight each other, and they’ll unify” said Hearn to AB Boxing News. “But I do believe Smith or Billy Joe Saunders will get the Canelo fight next. They keep asking me, ‘Am I going to get it?’ [Canelo fight].
“It’s not like you can say to Canelo, ‘Listen, we need an answer.’ You’re kind of just sitting by the phone waiting for the call, because ultimately he’s going to make the decision. But I do believe Canelo’s next opponent will come from one of those two super middleweight world champions,” said Hearn.
For Hearn’s sake, he should start thinking about other options for Saunders, Callum and Andrade, because Canelo might not fight any of them. When you Canelo to do something, he tends to go in the opposite direction.
Hearn has made it clear for months now that he wants Canelo to fight his Matchroom fighter Smith, Saunders or Andrade, he could be ruining it for those guys. The best way to get Canelo to do something is not say anything at all. If he wants to fight someone, he’ll do it, but he won’t bend to pressure.
It’s pretty obvious that Saunders and Callum won’t be fighting each other anytime soon. Both looked dreadful in their last fights, and they looked mediocre fighters. Saunders barely beat a bottom fringe contender in Marcelo Esteban Coceres, and Callum struggled to defeat John Ryder by a controversial decision.
Joshua will be targeting Wilder vs. Fury 2 winner
“I think it’s great,” said Hearn when asked about Anthony Joshua’s comments about wanting to help Tyson Fury with sparring. “When he said it, I said, ‘I’ve seen your schedule. When are you expected to fit this in?’ I think Fury and Joshua will ultimately fight each other at some stage.
“Joshua just wants to fight the undisputed heavyweight championship, and he’s wanted to for many years now. So we’ll see who wins on February 22nd. I think he feels that a fight with Fury will happen quicker, and then we’ll see and be ready,” said Hearn.
Anthony Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) can’t fight the winner of the February 22 Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury rematch, because he’s weighed down by 2 mandatory defenses in 2020.
If Joshua vacates his IBF or WBO heavyweight titles, then he’ll be in a position to fight the Wilder-Fury 2 rematch. However, Fury and Wider are expected to fight each other twice in 2020. So there’s no possibility for Joshua to face the winner of those fights until 2021 at the earliest.
- Billy Joe Saunders is back in the gym. Wants fight with Andrade
- How does Andrade fare against the top super middleweight fighters?
- Eddie Hearn says Jaron Ennis & Demetrius Andrade could have more options after their last performances
- Demetrius Andrade beats Demond Nicholson, wants big fight at 168