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Callum Smith’s trainer reacts to Canelo vs. Murata: ‘Canelo doing what Mayweather did’

Canelo Alvarez

By Charles Brun: Callum Smith and his trainer Joe Gallagher aren’t too happy to hear the news of Canelo Alvarez looking to potentially fight Ryota Murata next on May 2 on the Cinco de Mayo holiday weekend. Gallager thinks Canelo, 29, is taking the same career route as Floyd Mayweather Jr. did in picking whoever he wants to.


Fighting Murata in Japan on DAZN would create a lot of subscribers in that country for the streaming platform. It would be a good deal for DAZN if he faces Murata in Japan, because it’s a market that they build a large customer base. Moreover, it gives Canelo the chance to be seen a lot of new potential fans in Japan, and that helps him. Lastly, it’s an easy fight for Canelo. Murata has lost twice as a pro to Rob Brant and Hassan N’Dam, and neither guy is a world beater.

Canelo used to take on the best, but since he signed a huge $365 million contact with DAZN, he’s become more selective. He’s had 2 easy fights against Sergey Kovalev and Rocky Fielding. Canelo did fight Daniel Jacobs last year in May, but that’s a fighter that Gennady Golovkin already beat.

The unbeaten WBA Super World 168-lb champion Smith (27-0, 19 KOs) was hoping he would be the one that got the fight against Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) on the 2nd of May, but it appears that the Mexican star is going to take the fight with WBA ‘regular’ middleweight champion Murata (16-2, 13 KOs) instead.

Smith’s Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn had mistakenly assumed that Canelo would pick either Callum or WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders for his next fight in May, as he figured they were really his only 2 options in moving back down to 168. However, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya stated earlier this week that Saunders (24-0, 14 KOs) isn’t the frontrunner for Canelo’s next fight.

De La Hoya didn’t say who the frontrunner is, but Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated revealed on Wednesday that the 34-year-old Murata of Japan is the fighter that Canelo is in talks with for a fight on May 2. The fight will take place on the 3rd of May in Japan, but it would be streamed on DAZN on May 2 in the States, due to the country being 14 to 17 hours behind Tokyo, Japan.

“Canelo is doing what Mayweather did – fights who he pleases and everyone just does what he says,” said Gallagher to skysports.com. “Callum will be shocked and gutted, Billy Joe will be. I don’t think this will go down well in Mexico,” said Gallagher.

In Gallagher’s view, Canelo will have to step it up this September for his second fight of 2020 by taking on GGG or Callum. There’s a lot of pressure for Canelo to fight Golovkin in a trilogy match. With that pressure, it’s unlikely that Canelo will choose a fight against Smith. It would either be Golovkin or maybe Saunders. But with Canelo, it could be anybody. All that money he’s getting from DAZN has obviously eased the pressure on him for him to pick whoever he wants.

“In September Canelo will have to fight a Callum or a Gennadiy Golovkin,” said Gallagher in speculating.

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It would be surprising if Canelo picks Callum to fight, because he’s not a household name in the U.S, and the boxing fans aren’t demanding that fight. Likewise, the fans aren’t demanding that Canelo fight Saunders either, but he at least has a chance of getting the call due to his lack of power. It would be an easy fight for Canelo if he chooses Saunders more so than if he takes on the 6’3″ Saunders.

“No discussion yet on Billy or Callum,” said Hearn on Twitter in talking about Canelo’s management not contacting him to talk about a fight against either of those guys.

There’s still an outside chance that Canelo picks Callum or Saunders for his May 2 fight. What works against that happening is the amount of money that can be made for Canelo fighting Murata in Japan.

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