By Dan Ambrose: Both Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders received offers from Golden Boy Promotions for a fight against Canelo Alvarez on May 2, and both the offers were rejected. [@MikeCoppinger].
Saunders has got to be quite pleased that he was finally given an offer for the Canelo fight, since he’s been waiting for ages to get a chance to fight him. In some ways, this validates Saunders as a fighter to have Canelo give him an offer.
It’s just cruel fate that the offers that Saunders received wasn’t to his promoter’s liking. It’s predictable that Saunders will hold out for $12 million.
It did seem a little unusual that Callum’s name was the only one mentioned earlier on Thursday in having been given an offer by Golden Boy. Now that it’s been revealed that Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) received an offer too, it makes more sense.
Hearn rejected the offer from Golden Boy to Callum Smith
“We turned down the initial offer but, of course, it’s the fight that Callum wants next,” Hearn said to ESPN..com. “If we feel the offer is right, he will jump at the chance.”
Those two were seen as the leading options for Canelo’s next fight on May 2. It’s likely that Golden Boy will stick it out in the negotiations with those two, and then take the cheaper of the two.
Of course, if they ask for ridiculous money, then Golden Boy might move on. In that case, Golden Boy will probably turn their attention to Jaime Munguia, Demetrius Andrade and Sergiy Derevyanchenko. One of those guys would likely jump at the chance to fight Canelo.
The negotiations are still ongoing between Golden Boy and Saunders and Callum for the Canelo fight on May 2. However, if a deal can’t be reached, then Matchroom will likely go ahead and put together a unification fight between Callum and Saunders for the summer.
Callum and Saunders will fight each other if no Canelo deal
Saunders and Callum are both British fighters, so it makes sense to match them against each other. Eddie Hearn promotes them both, and he’s been eager to put a fight together between them. He’s been holding off waiting to see if Canelo would fight one of the two.
Hearn said last week that they wouldn’t take the fight with Canelo if the offers weren’t ‘fair’ to Saunders or Callum. It seems obvious that Hearn is looking for Saunders or Callum to receive the same money that Daniel Jacobs and Sergey Kovalev received to fight Canelo in 2019. Both fighters, world champions at the time Canelo fought them, were given $12 million.
If that’s the kind of money that Hearn is waiting to get for Callum or Saunders before he’ll agree to one of them facing Canelo, he might not get it. Those two British fighters aren’t in the same league name-wise as Jacobs and Kovalev were when Canelo fought them.
There were rumors that Golden Boy asked for a 10-lb rehydration clause for Callum to agree to. However, sources say that wasn’t the case. Golden Boy didn’t ask for a rehydration clause. The fight offer was turned down due to it not being to the liking of Callum’s promoter Eddie Hearn.
It’s not a good situation for Golden Boy that Callum Smith and Saunders share the same promoter in Eddie Hearn. Likewise it’s even worse that Hearn also promotes WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade, because he’ll likely want big money for him too as an opponent for Canelo.
Saunders & Smith not well known in U.S
You can argue that Saunders and Smith are more similar to Rocky Fielding in terms of name recognition. Whatever Fielding got for his fight with Canelo, it would make sense for Saunders and Callum to receive the same. The only upside in Canelo fighting Saunders or Smith is their world titles, and being seen defeating unbeaten guys. That’s it. They’re what you call ‘belt holders,’ and not fighters that have huge fan bases.
If Canelo wanted a more popular fighter that the U.S boxing fans are interested in, he would need to fight one of the Charlo brothers. That wouldn’t be an easy fight for Canelo, and it would be difficult to put it together.