DAZN boss Skipper wanted Canelo to fight Callum Smith in UK
By Sean Jones: DAZN executive chairman John Skipper wanted to persuade Canelo Alvarez to face Callum Smith for a fight in the UK before the star opted to take on Billy Joe Saunders for a fight in Las Vegas. That fight is expected to take place in June or July.
Golden Boy Promotions hasn’t announced the Canelo-Saunders fight yet, but they’re expected to possibly next week. However, any fights that are announced at this time could ultimately be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Canelo wanted deal sweetened for GGG trilogy
Canelo also has an agreement to fight Gennadiy Golovkin in a trilogy fight on September 12 in Arlington, Texas. It’s unclear whether DAZN sweetened Canelo’s 11-fight, $365 million deal by him agreeing to fight GGG a third time.
Dan Rafael of ESPN says Canelo wanted his $35 million per fight to be increased for him to agree to the third fight with Golovkin.
Rafael says DAZN boss Skipper flew over from New York to San Diego to try and get Canelo to take the fight with WBA Super World 168-lb champion Smith (27-0, 19 KOs) in the UK, but Alvarez chose to take the fight WBO champion Saunders.
In terms of entertainment, Callum would have been a better choice for Canelo, as he’s someone that would have been looking to score a knockout from the opening bell. He’s also a lot more dangerous than Saunders, which might be the reason why Canelo didn’t pick him.
While some British boxing fans are happy that Canelo chose Saunders, many others view the move as a cherry-pick. A lot of fans were already critical of Canelo for electing to fight the 36-year-old Sergey Kovalev in his last fight instead of Artur Beterbiev of Dmitry Bivol at light heavyweight.
Callum Smith would have been a handful for Canelo
It would have been a good deal for DAZN had Canelo fought Callum in the UK. Not only would get a lot of attention from U.S boxing fans, but it would have increased the subscriptions from UK fans with DAZN. Callum is a fighter that many boxing fans believe would give Canelo pure trouble based on his power, height and reach. It’s not unexpected that Canelo chose NOT to face the 6’3′ Callum.
At 5’8″, Canelo would have been too short to take on Smith, and it could have ended badly for him. Canelo is an excellent fighter, but he’s also quite good at picking his opponents. In that respect, Canelo is similar to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Golden Boy wanted Canelo to fight Callum Smith rather than Saunders because of his style of fighting isn’t tricky as Saunders. Canelo is slow on his feet, and he doesn’t move around the ring nearly as well as the taller 5’11” Saunders.
Golden Boy understood the obstacles that Canelo would be facing in dealing with the crafty southpaw Saunders, so they wanted him to fight Callum. One issue with Canelo fighting Saunder is he wanted more money than Callum for the fight. Saunders eventually lowered his asking price to take the fight with Canelo, and the rest is history.
Saunders will have to wait for Canelo fight
He’s got the fight now, and we’ll have to see if it takes place in 2020. With the coronavirus wreaking havoc in the U.S, Saunders may need to wait a while before he gets the fight with Canelo. It’s not as if Saunders has any other options for the time being.
No fights are happening right now, and there’s no telling how long it’ll be before the sport starts up again It could be a few months, like some promoters like Eddie Hearn are hoping, or it could over a year.
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