Eddie Hearn to Canelo Alvarez: “Please choose one of our guys”
By Sean Jones: Promoter Eddie Hearn is asking Canelo Alvarez to choose one of his four Matchroom Boxing fighters for his next fight on September 12 or whenever he climbs into the ring next.
Hearn says he’s offered Golden Boy these fighters as potential options for Alvarez’s next contest on DAZN: Callum Smith, John Ryder, Demetrius Andrade, and Dmitry Bivol.
Of those four, WBA super middleweight champion Callum (27-0, 19 KOs) has the best chance of getting the fight against Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs), but that’ll be up to DAZN. ESPN reported last week that DAZN wants Canelo to take a pay cut for his September 12 fight if he faces Callum.
Does Canelo want to take a risky fight on September 12?
Matchroom guys like Bivol and Andrade would appear to have almost no shot at getting selected by Golden Boy Promotions to face the 30-year-old Canelo. They’re too difficult in terms of their size, boxing skills, and power for the 5’9″ Alvarez.
Bernard Hopkins, one of the Golden Boy executives, says Canelo is ring rusty from inactivity, and he’d rather he take on Jason Quigley in September, and then look to face someone like Jermall Charlo in May of 2021.
Quigley is a fighter that DAZN likely would not be overjoyed to see Canelo fighting on September 12. The streaming giant needs subscribers, and they’d shoot themselves in the foot if they agreed to let Canelo take another soft opponent.
Alvarez has already chosen three duds in Rocky Fielding, Sergey Kovalev, and Daniel Jacobs since signing an 11-fight, $365 million contract with DAZN. What the streaming giant needs now is a quality opponent for Canelo that will move the needle, like Bivol, David Benavidez, Caleb Plant, or Artur Beterbiev.
Hearn wants Canelo to fight a Matchroom guy
“Canelo, if you’re listening, please choose one of our guys,” said Hearn to IFL TV. “If you look at September 12, that’s under seven weeks now. We’ve discussed some numbers with Golden Boy on Callum Smith.
“We’re quite close on the numbers, but I don’t know if we’re close on doing a deal. I’ve heard from Willie Monroe come out and say he’s got the fight, then Jason Quigley comes out and says he’s got the fight.
“I don’t want to upset anyone, you know? I will say once again if Canelo Alvarez wants to choose, which is what they do, one of our guys, we’re over the moon. We’ll make sure they’re ready, and the whole process is as easy as possible for everybody.
“And I would love to provide the opportunity for one of our guys to get a chance to prove a true great in Canelo Alvarez,” said Hearn.
Two of Hearn’s fighters, Bivol and Andrade, would be excellent choices for Canelo’s next fight, but he probably won’t agree to fight either of them. Andrade and Bivol are guys that Canelo has never shown interest in facing, and it’s easy to understand why.
Alvarez would likely lose to both Bivol and Andrade. The only two fighters that Hearn has a chance of Canelo picking next are Callum and Ryder, and those are fighters that Americans won’t be excited at seeing.
Saul Alvarez unlikely to go on September 12
“I don’t want to speak out of term, but to me, that looks unlikely for that date,” Hearn said. “The people in the running for that fight, John Ryder and Callum Smith are still working as if it is that date. But I think it’s unlikely, and we’re just waiting to hear.
“We’ve got fighters ready to go. Demetrius Andrade, Dmitry Bivol, Callum Smith, John Ryder; we’re waiting for the call. Don’t forget; we’re not selling tickets.
“Canelo, when you’re talking about a guy that generates $8 million on a gate, it’s very difficult to put a deal together. Probably the broadcasters as well think, ‘We’re not getting the Canelo Alvarez fight week, where’s the fighter’s arrivals, where’s the weigh-in at the T-Mobile?’
“Do you understand? So there’s a lot of conversations to be had to try and get the model right to mean that you can fight. I don’t know Canelo Alvarez. I don’t know how much of a pay-cut he’s willing to take, you know?
“Maybe none. Maybe $10 million. I don’t know, but the model has changed completely. You have to make changes, and you have to make alterations; otherwise, it’s impossible to do. It’s very difficult at that level,” said Eddie.
What makes the September 12 fight uncertain for Canelo is the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr match that will be taking place on that date. If Canelo competes against that fight, he would absolutely need an A-level opponent that is not only talented but popular as well in the States. That rules out Ryder and Callum.
Canelo does seem to be interested in facing Callum, 30, but the negotiations have been slow due to the British fighter wanting $6 million and Golden Boy offering him $5 million. Also, what further complicates things are the reports that DAZN wants Canelo to take a reduction in pay for his September 12 fight.
How much of a discount is DAZN looking to get for Canelo’s next fight? Can they force Canelo to agree to it? What happens if Canelo refuses? Will he sit on the shelf for years, wasting his career?
Options for Billy Joe Saunders’ next contest
“It’s frustrating. He had the Canelo Alvarez fight,” said Hearn on Billy Joe Saunders. “We were a day from announcing. So when people say he ruled himself out of the Canelo fight. It wasn’t like we wrote to Golden Boy and said, ‘We rule out.’
“He [Saunders] just said, ‘I’m not going to be ready, and I’m not ready to take a substantial pay cut. So there’s no point considering me.’ If that’s the case, so now we got to look at does he come back in October or November in a big fight or a smaller fight, and then look for a bigger fight in the spring.
“I like the Callum Smith unification. There’s even a John Ryder fight out there, and there’s a Chris Eubank Jr fight, and there’s a Demetrius Andrade fight that I really like as well. I think for a lot of people, he’s [Saunders] going to be out for a year.
“So, I don’t want him to come back in a smaller fight. I think he should come back in a [bigger fight]. But this is the problem now. We have lost a year. He boxed in November.
“If you’re Billy Joe Saunders, everything was perfect. He signed with us; we got him that defense in November, and we got the Canelo Alvarez fight. Then the world came crashing down.
“So now you’ve got the situation, do you go straight into the deep end with Demetrius Andrade or Callum Smith or do you have a defense and then you jump into that fight.
“I think with Billy, the key is momentum. Making sure that his weight is down and he’s flowing, and he can get that momentum. It’s frustrating because we had it [Canelo Alvarez], but it was taken away from us,” said Hearn.
Saunders has already stated that he has zero interest in facing Chris Eubank Jr, which is disappointing because a rematch between them would interest boxing fans. Callum Smith and Saunders would need a crowd.
Saunders and Ryder is a ho-hum type of fight, and it would be similar to the recent mismatches Billy Joe has had against little known Shefat Isufi and Marcelo Esteban Coceres.
Will Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr happen on Sept.12?
“One we don’t even know if that’ll happen,” said Hearn on the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr fight taking place on the same date a Canelo’s proposed fight on September 12.
“Two, it’s f**** mental, and three, to be honest, and I’ve not been told this by anyone, but I think the September 12 date died a week or so ago. I’m sure they’re trying to resurrect it, but actually, who cares about September 12?
“I know it’s a date that’s quite important to Mayweather, and you’ve got Cinco de Mayo as well in May. But in this environment, who cares about September 12?
“If it’s the 19th, if it’s the 26th, if it’s October, it doesn’t matter. But it would be amazing to get a Canelo Alvarez fight away in this type of environment. It would be great for boxing.
“As much as I would like to see a real fight between them, I would rather that than an exhibition,” said Hearn on the Tyson vs. Jones fight. “I would rather you say to them, ‘You know what? Crack on boys. Go for it. Tee off on each other and enjoy yourself,’ because then you know what you’re getting.
“The risk is, you buy the product and they joke. I know Tyson’s not going to joke around, but you don’t know what they’re going to do. It could be [a hard spar]. When you’re selling something, we don’t know what we’re getting, do we?
“So maybe that’s an intrigue for some people. But I would rather say, ‘these blokes shouldn’t be in the ring, and they’re too old, but they’re going to try and knock the f*** out of each other, to be honest with you,'” said Hearn.
There will be a lot of upset boxing fans if Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr don’t end up fighting on September 12, and it would hurt PPV sales if the match is moved. In hindsight, it was a mistake for the organizers to select September 12, knowing that Canelo had already planned on fighting on that date.
Tyson-Jones need to make it a war
“So when you buy the pay-per-view, that’s what you’re going to see. It’s going to be a bit of a joke if they do a round and then they start getting interviewed in the ring in the middle of the round. I think people are trying to cover their backs on it [Tyson vs. Jones].
“I see Andy Foster from the California State Athletic Commission, ‘If anyone hurts anyone, the fights going to be stopped.’ I’d much rather say, ‘They shouldn’t be in there, but you know what?
“They’re going to do it. Let them go out and let them fight.’ I think it’s hard to start slating. I mean, look, it’s going to be offered. I’m sure it’s going to be offered to Sky.
“It’s going to be offered to UK broadcasters. I will watch it, but I’d rather, I don’t think they should be doing it anyway, but I would rather if they’re going to do it, yeah. Okay, then I’ll definitely watch it,” Eddie said.
It would be in the best interest of Tyson, Jones and the organizers of the Tyson-Jones eight-round exhibition event for them to make it a real fight, and not just go through the motions.
Already, boxing fans are starting to lose interest in seeing Tyson and Jones since they’ve learned that it’s a match that could get stopped immediately if one of them suffers a cut or gets stunned by a punch.
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