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Canelo Alvarez fight NOT happening for Callum Smith, Hearn talks alternative options

Image: Canelo Alvarez fight NOT happening for Callum Smith, Hearn talks alternative options

By Tim Royner: Callum Smith isn’t happy that he won’t be getting the May 2 fight against Canelo Alvarez, and he thinks that he was never seriously considered by them. The WBA super-middleweight champion Callum states that he was given one offer by Team Canelo for the fight, which he turned down.

From that point on, Callum says he never heard from Canelo’s team again. What bothers Callum (27-0, 19 KOs) is the offer is the same one that was made to Billy Joe Saunders, and he’s the one that appears to be getting the fight with the Mexican superstar Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) on May 2

Callum’s promoter Eddie says a press conference for Canelo’s next fight will take place next week, and he says there’s still a small chance that he could get the fight. If not, then he plans on looking at alternative options for Callum’s next fight.

Smith doubts Canelo’s team ever wanted him for fight

“They made me an offer which I believe was too low. I said no. Billy Joe said no to the same offer,” said Callum to skysports.com about Canelo’s management making him an offer for a fight in May. “I thought we’d start negotiating and we’d have some back-and-forth. But that was it.

“He made one offer then went to social media saying that I didn’t want the fight. I don’t think they ever really wanted me anyway. They were just covering their own backs,” said Callum.

Callum shouldn’t be surprised that he’s not getting the fight, because Canelo has been picking certain types of fighters lately. His last fight was against 36-year-old WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev on November 2. Canelo’s trainer Eddy Reynoso stated to the media that he felt that Kovalev was the best light heavyweight in the division. That’s obviously not the case.

There were arguably more talented champions for Canelo to fight at 175 in Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol, but he chose to face Kovalev. Moreover, when Canelo decided to fight for one of the 168-lb titles, he selected former WBA champion Rocky Fielding.

Canelo could have fought David Benavidez or Caleb Plant, but he picked Fielding instead.  WBO super middleweight champion Saunders is a good fighter, but he’s considered by some fans as the easiest option at 168 right now. Callum is up there with Plant and Benavidez in terms of toughness, which may be the reason why Canelo didn’t select him. Canelo certainly didn’t look good against Kovalev.

Alvarez, 29, won the fight by an 11th round knockout, but he didn’t look impressive. The way Canelo performed, he wouldn’t have beaten Beterbiev, Bivol or Oleksandr Gvozdyk. He was too small. Kovalev barely threw punches and he had Canelo struggling at times.

Callum still has a small chance of getting Canelo fight

“There’s still a chance he could get [the Canelo fight]. It’s small, but, you never know,” said Hearn to Behind The Gloves on it appearing that Callum Smith won’t get Alvarez fight. “We went back to Golden Boy with the contract. We’re ready to go.”

It sounds like Hearn is being kind in giving Callum a sliver of a chance of getting the Canelo fight. Most would agree that it’s academic at this point that Billy Joe (29-0, 14 KOs) is the one that will be getting the fight for better or for worse. He’ll be the one that is announced next week as Canelo’s opponent.

It’s not all bad for Callum. If he keeps winning, he has a good shot at getting a fight against Canelo at some point down the road, because they’re both with DAZN. After Canelo fights Saunders, he’s expected to face Gennadiy Golovkin in September, and then Ryota Murata next May. Callum will likely be one of the candidates for Canelo to fight in September of next year, as long as he doesn’t lose to any of his next 3 opponents.

What works against Callum getting a fight against Canelo is his size, power and how good he’s been looking. While Callum didn’t look great in his last fight against John Ryder, that was more of an anomaly. Aside from that fight, Callum has steamrolled most of his opponents, and Canelo might have been scared off. He didn’t fight Gennadiy Golovkin until he was 36. What does that tell you?

Hearn says Canelo press conference next week

“They’re talking about press conferences next week. If all of a sudden if something fell through, he [Callum] would get the fight, but right now it looks like Callum is not going to get the fight,” said Hearn on the Canelo Alvarez match.

Saunders was already considered the frontrunner for the Canelo fight, so it shouldn’t be a major shock to Callum that he’s not getting the fight. Billy Joe punches all the buttons for what Canelo is obviously looking for in an opponent. Saunders has these qualities that likely appeals to Canelo:

  • Unbeaten record
  • WBO super middleweight champion
  • Not huge at 168: Saunders only recently moved up from 160. He’s arguably still a middleweight
  • Not much power
  • Looked vulnerable in his last fight against Marcelo Esteban Coceres
  • Poor inside skills

Callum’s options: Jacobs, Ryder, Plant & Eubank Jr.

“We have to look at the likes of Danny Jacobs, we have to look at the likes of Caleb Plant, Benavidez is tied up, Chris Eubank Jr., John Ryder rematch. He has to do what he does and keep inning, but, of course, he does want the biggest fights possible,” said Hearn of Smith.

  • Danny Jacobs: The former middleweight champion Jacobs is fighting in May or June on DAZN, but he’s rumored to be facing either Gabriel Rosado or Ryder. He wants another tune-up fight at 168 to get him acclimated to the fight class. A fight against Callum isn’t going to happen.
  • Chris Eubank Jr: This isn’t a likely option for Callum either, as he’s fighting at 160 now, and he wants to challenge WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo. He’s definitely not going to move up to 168 to face Callum, because that’s not the direction he’s taking his career now.
  •  Caleb Plant: There’s a possibility that Plant might agree to take the fight with Callum, but he competes on a different network [FOX] in the U.S. That makes it unlikely that he’ll face Callum.
  • John Ryder: This is easily the most likely opponent for Callum, but it depends on whether Jacobs picks him as his next opponent. If Jacobs wants to face Ryder, he’ll most likely get the fight over Callum.



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