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Canelo wants 2 fights in 2020, Saunders in Sept. and GGG in Dec.

Billy Joe Saunders, Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin boxing photo

By Dan Ambrose: Canelo Alvarez still plans on fighting two times in 2020 in September and December, according to his longtime trainer Eddy Reynoso. Canelo’s team wants the trilogy match against middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin for December, but that might not happen. Glo

He says the options for the September fight for Canelo (53-1-2, 36 K.O.s) is down to this three super middleweights:

  • Billy Joe Saunders – WBO 168-pound champ
  • Caleb Plant – IBF
  • David Benavidez – WBC

Saunders (29-0, 14 K.O.s) is the first name that came out of Reynoso’s mouth when talking about Canelo’s options for September. That would seem to be a BIG hint about who Team Canelo wants him to fight in September. Saunders, by far, is the weakest of the champions at 168, and the guy that Canelo would have his best chance of beating.

Plant and Benavidez would be pure trouble for Canelo, who lacks the height and reach to land shots against the taller fighters.

Billy Joe Saunders, Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin boxing photo

Saunders likely for Canelo’s September fight

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn wants Canelo to fight the 30-year-old Saunders next, as he promotes him. That’s one big reason why Saunders will likely be Canelo’s next opponent for September. The other reason is that Saunders is the guy that Canelo originally wanted in 2020.

Rather than target the dangerous 168-pound champions, Benavidez and Plant, Canelo picked Saunders. Canelo-Billy Joe is a replay of what we saw with Canelo at 175. Instead of Canelo selecting the talented light heavyweights in Artur Beterbiev, Oleksandr Gvozdyk, or Dmitry Bivol, he picked 36-year-old Sergey Kovalev.

Saunders is in the same mold as Kovalev in terms of being viewed as the weakest link. Additionally, Saunders looks like he’s seen better days in his career.

Since moving up to 168 in 2019, Saunders has looked terrible in beating Marcelo Esteban Coceres and Shefat Isufi. In both of those fighters, Saunders took punishment in both fights and looked like he’d lost a few steps.

Saunders is the guy that Canelo had already negotiated with for a fight in May, but that contest couldn’t happen because of the pandemic.

The main reason why Benavidez and Plant won’t get the fight with Canelo is that they’re both talented, and would have an excellent chance of beating him. Those two would be a REAL threat to beating Canelo, and they would make it so one-sided that the judges wouldn’t play a factor.

Billy Joe Saunders, Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin boxing photo

Canelo wants to fight TWICE in 2020

“We realistically want two fights this year,” Canelo’s coach Eddy Reynoso said to Box Azteca. “We couldn’t fight in May, so we are looking at September and December. We’re talking about (potential opponents) like Billy Joe Saunders.

If Reynoso wanted to impress the boxing world, he’d have Canelo face WBC super-middleweight champion, David Benavidez (22-0, 19 K.O.s) in September, and then IBF champ Caleb Plant in December.

As far as IBF 160-pound champion Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 K.O.s) is concerned, he’s made it clear that he wants to defend against his IBF mandatory Kamil Szeremeta in his next fight, which could place anywhere from July to December. GGG, 38, isn’t likely going to want to start training camp after facing Szeremeta (21-0, 5 K.O.s) to prepare for a trilogy match against Canelo in September.

In other words, Golovkin won’t be rushed into the third fight with Canelo after his title defense against the little known Szeremeta in 2020. At best, we could see Canelo face Golovkin in May 2021. At worst, that fight could get pushed to September of next year, depending on the situation with the pandemic.

Canelo vs. Golovkin 3 is too big of a fight to stage it behind closed doors, and it’s not realistic to assume that either fighter will be open to fighting outside of the United States in front of fans. As such, Canelo-Golovkin 3 will likely need to wait until fans are allowed to attend live sporting events in the U.S.

It’s evident that the guy that Canelo and Reynoso want for September is Saunders. The other two names mentioned – Reynoso and Plant – are likely being thrown out there to give the impression that other fighters are being considered.

Benavidez and Plant additional options for Canelo

“There’s also Caleb Plant and the WBC world titleholder at 168 pounds (David Benavidez). There are several (options),” said coach Reynoso in talking about Canelo’s fight in September.

Ideally, it would be nice if Canelo’s team walked away from the Saunders fight, and focused on matching him against guys that U.S. boxing fans want to see him battle. That would be impressive on Canelo’s part if he washed his hands of Saunders, and moved on to face Benavidez or Plant in September. Unfortunately, that would be breaking from how Canelo has been matched in the last couple of years.

As we’ve seen, when Canelo has had the chance to fight the best at 168 and 175, he’s opted to face arguably the weakest champs. So instead of Canelo fighting Benavidez in 2018, he fought WBA secondary super middleweight champion, Rocky Fielding.

In a repeat pattern, instead of Canelo fighting Artur Beterbiev at 175 for a world title in 2019, he fought Sergey Kovalev, who looked washed up after his previous fight against Anthony Yarde.

Saunders is not registering with U.S. fans, who view him as another Rocky Fielding type soft touch for Canelo to pad his record with without risk.

Aside from U.K. fans, there wasn’t much interest worldwide in Canelo facing Saunders, who is viewed as by far the weakest link among the champions at 168. Indeed, Saunders might not even be as good as some of the contenders at 168.

Daniel Jacobs recently moved up to super-middleweight, and he would likely be a massive favorite over Saunders if the two fought.

Billy Joe Saunders, Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin boxing photo

Golovkin an option for Canelo in December

“Golovkin could be the fight for December. His people have already said that he doesn’t want to fight Canelo until after the (Kamil Szeremeta) fight,” said Reynoso.

It’s better for Canelo and Golovkin to wait until 2021 before fighting their trilogy match because it would have a better chance of making more money. A lot of boxing fans are out of work right now because of the pandemic, and they’re not going to have money to spend if this situation still exists.

The 38-year-old Golovkin is already under contract for a fight against Szeremeta, so he’s going to need to get that fight out of the way first.

In a perfect situation, Golovkin will face Szeremeta in July, knocking him out in one or two rounds without taking punishment. Golovkin could then rest before starting training camp to face Canelo in December. However, it’s unlikely that Golovkin will be facing Szeremeta in July.

That would be highly optimistic to assume their fight takes place in July. More likely, we’ll have to wait until September for the Golovkin vs. Szeremeta fight. If Golovkin faces Szeremeta in August or September, it removes the chance of GGG facing Canelo in December.

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