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Canelo NOT fighting Billy Joe Saunders next

Billy Joe Saunders Canelo Alvarez Oscar De La Hoya

By Scott Gilfoid: Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions burst the bubble of Billy Joe Saunders on Monday by saying he’s NOT the frontrunner for Canelo Alvarez for his next fight on Cinco de Mayo on May 2. De La Hoya says he’s not sure who started the rumor that Saunders will Canelo’s next opponent, because he’s not the lead guy that they’re looking at.

De La Hoya will be traveling to Mexico to meet with Canelo and his team to discuss who his next opponent will be. It could be someone from 168 or 160, but it looks like it won’t be WBO super middleweight champion Saunders (24-0, 14 KOs). Given Saunders’ ugly spoiling style of fighting, it was strange for his name to be rumored to be fighting Canelo.

In the past, De La Hoya and Canelo never seemed remotely interested in fighting Saunders. The way Saunders spoiled in his fight with David Lemieux several years ago, he arguably hurt his chances of getting fights against Canelo and Gennadiy Golovkin. Not only did Saunders spoil, but he showboated and taunted Lemieux, and that was a bad look.

De La Hoya: ‘Saunders is not the frontrunner for Canelo Alvarez’

“Saunders is not the frontrunner, that’s for sure. I have no idea who threw that name out there. I have a trip to Mexico [to meet] with Canelo and his team,” said De La Hoya to secondsout about Canelo’s next opponent on May 2.  “We’ll sit down, I’ll stay there for a few days, iron out a deal and take it from there. Once we have the name down, we’ll have an announcement shortly,” said De La Hoya.

So there it is. De La Hoya has ruled out Saunders as Canelo’s next opponent for the 2nd of Mayweather. I guess that means Saunders will need to return to fighting at the Lagoon Leisure Centre, in Paisley. The way that De La Hoya dismissed the notion of Saunders getting the fight with Canelo, he seemed transparent.

This wasn’t a case of De La Hoya saying something that he didn’t believe to be true. He looked like he was being completely open in saying Saunders isn’t the frontrunner for the Canelo fight. The look on De La Hoya’s face when he said, “Saunders is NOT the frontrunner,” was one of disgust. It looked clear that Saunders isn’t even in the same galaxy of the guys that Canelo and De La Hoya are looking at for his next fight.

Canelo can return to 160 or 168

“He did vacate his light heavyweight,” said De La Hoya about Canelo Alvarez. “I’m not sure if he wants to stay at light heavyweight? We’ll see. But I think he has a lot of options at 168. It may be a little bit difficult for him [to go back to 160], but he has the option. That’s what’s great about Canelo. He’s not a tall guy.

“He’s a wide guy, and he’s got thick legs and a thick neck,” De La Hoya continued about Canelo. “He knows how to cut weight, and he knows how to train hard and be disciplined. That’s the advantage that he has. He’s very disciplined, so he has the options. I think 168 would be a nice move for him, but it depends on his team. His team knows how his body feels,” said De Hoya.

These are the options for Canelo at 160:

  • Ryota Murata
  • Jaime Munguia
  • Sergiy Derevyanchenko
  • Demetrius Andrade
  • Gennadiy Golovkin
  • Jermall Charlo

Munguia, Derevyancehnko and Murata would have to be viewed as the top 3 guys under consideration for Canelo at 160.

Canelo’s options at 168:

  • David Benavidez
  • Caleb Plant
  • Callum Smith
  • Chris Eubank Jr.
  • John Ryder



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