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Canelo Alvarez to fight next on May 2

Billy Joe Saunders Canelo Alvarez

By Dan Ambrose: Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez says Canelo Alvarez will be fighting on Cinco de Mayo weekend on May 2 against a still to be determined opponent, according to ESPN. Gomez will be meeting with Canelo this week to decide on who he’ll be facing, and at what weight.

Gennadiy Golovkin is out of the picture, as he’s got a title defense for his IBF middleweight belt against mandatory Kamil Szeremeta that will be taking place in April or May.

Canelo really doesn’t have many great options to bring in subscribers for DAZN in his next fight, and that’s the problem. If Canelo had stayed at 175, he could face fighters like Artur Beterbiev, Oleksandr Gvozdyk or Dmitry Bivol and bring in a lot of subscribers. In doing so, Canelo would be walking the plank, and would be doomed to defeat. He’s not going to beat those kind of fighters.

Canelo to move down to 168 or 160

It’s unclear whether Canelo will move back down to 160 or 168. Gomez personally thinks 168 is Canelo’s best weight class, but it’ll be up to him if he wants to fight there next. If so, then the likely options that Canelo, 29, will be choosing from will be Billy Joe Saunders or Callum Smith. Canelo vacated his WBO light heavyweight title that he won in stopping Sergey Kovalev in the 11th round on November 2 in his last fight. If Canelo had kept the WBO title, he would have had to defend it against the big punching Joshua Buatsi, and that would have been a hard fight for him.

Canelo vacates WBO 175-lb title rather than face Beterbiev or Bivol

Unlike Kovalev, Buatsi isn’t old, and he wouldn’t likely lack energy the way that the Russian fighter mysteriously did on the night of their fight. In hindsight, it was a good idea for Canelo to vacate the WBO belt, because he didn’t look good against an old and weak looking Kovalev. Fans wanted to see Canelo take a real test by staying at 175 to take on WBA champion Dmitry Bivol or unified champ Artur Beterbiev in a unification match, but chose instead to vacate his WBO belt. Beterbiev would have the worst nightmare for Canelo.

Saunders and Callum Smith aren’t great options for Canelo

Smith and Saunders aren’t household names in the United States, and BOTH are coming off of disappointing performances, to say the least. Canelo might as well be fighting Rocky Fielding again if he chooses to fight Saunders or Callum next. WBA Super World 168-lb champion Smith (27-0, 19 KOs) won a controversial decision over his mandatory John Ryder (28-5, 16 KOs) on November 23 in Liverpool, England.

Smith’s fans blame his performance on his struggle to make the 168-lb limit, since he’s clearly outgrown the division. A move up to 175 is likely in Smith’s future, but he’s obviously not going to make that move until he’s dethroned or loses the title on the scales.

With a potential fight against Canelo, there’s no chance that Callum will give up his WBA title willingly. He’s going to sit tight and hope that Canelo gives him a fight. If Callum does get picked, it’ll be interesting to see if there’s a rehydration clause that is included in the contract.

Gomez says Canelo’s best weight class is 168

“I personally feel that’s the best weight class, where he’s going to be the best at, at this point in his career,” Golden Boy president Eric Gomez said to ESPN.com. “That’s the weight class he’s going to feel the best, the strongest. But it doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t go back to light heavyweight, he still has that possibility.”

Canelo can move back down to 168, and then have middleweights move up to face him at a catchweight. With Canelo’s big contact with DAZN, he has a certain responsibility to pick opponents that fans want to see. Given the lack of big names at 160 and 168, Canelo is in a bind.

These are the most popular middleweights:

  • Gennadiy Golovkin
  • Jermall Charlo
  • Chris Eubank Jr. – popular in UK only
  • Jaimie Munguia – slightly popular
  • Demetrius Andrade – small fan base in East Coast

With everyone expecting Canelo to move down to 168 for his next fight, he could surprise them by staying at 175. However. it’s unlikely Canelo will remain at light heavyweight, because he’s too small.

Although it would be interesting for fans to see Canelo face Anthony Yarde, he probably won’t do it. If Canelo moves back down to 160, he has the options to fight guys like Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade or Ryota Murata. Charlo would be the best option.

If DAZN has any input in who Canelo fights next, they’d likely prefer that he face GGG. A trilogy match between Canelo and Golovkin in May would bring in big numbers on DAZN, but it would be a grueling match for the Mexican star. The way Canelo has been talking GGG down, it sounds like he doesn’t want another hard fight against him.


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