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Sergiy Derevyanchenko the #1 option for Canelo Alvarez on Sept.12

Image: Sergiy Derevyanchenko the #1 option for Canelo Alvarez on Sept.12

By Dan Ambrose: Sergiy Derevyanchenko finds himself in the lead position as the #1 option for Canelo Alvarez’s next contest on September 12 on DAZN. According to ESPN Deportes, the 2008 Olympian Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs) is the first option, with Callum Smith as #2 on the list.

Two obstacles could prevent Derevyanchenko from getting the fight, which involves the money and the need for him to come up to 168.

Derevyanchenko has reportedly been offered $2.5 million to challenge WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo next. However, it’s believed that it might require at least $5 million for Canelo to get Derevyanchenko to agree to face him.

If it’s about money for Canelo and Golden Boy, which it is, then they may opt for a cheaper alternative.

Derevyanchenko earned his spot

Canelo can’t fight Billy Joe Saunders or Gennady Golovkin for September because of those fighters are interested in facing him. Saunders was in the running, but he dropped out after criticizing the lack of time he was being given to prepare. Billy Joe wanted MORE than ten weeks to make for Canelo.

Derevyanchenko, 34, put himself in a position to face Canelo with his exceptional performance in his last fight against Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin on October 5 last year. Sergiy seemingly got the better of Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) in their 12 round bout, but he came out of it as the loser in a controversial decision.

Image: Sergiy Derevyanchenko the #1 option for Canelo Alvarez on Sept.12

The boxing world ignored the official results of the fight, and they view Derevyanchenko as the actual winner.

As such, his star his risen while Golovkin’s has sunk lower. That’s why you argue that GGG made a colossal blunder in electing not to fight Derevyanchenko in a rematch.

Besides, there is so much interest from fans in a Golovkkin-Derevyanchenko rematch; it was a fight that GGG needed to remove the controversy from his previous win.

Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions must make a selection quickly so that they can begin promoting his September 12 fight on DAZN. With now just two months to go, it’s imperative that Canelo makes his choice as soon as possible.

Canelo’s Plan-C options

Among those two possibilities for Canelo, these three fighters are also in contention for the fight:

  • David Lemieux
  • John Ryder
  • Fedor Chudinov

The reason those three are in the running is that they’re asking for less money, according to ESPN. Of course, there would also likely be far less interest from U.S boxing fans in watching Canelo fight Lemieux, Ryder, or Chudinov.

Image: Sergiy Derevyanchenko the #1 option for Canelo Alvarez on Sept.12

In other words, you get what you pay for when selecting opponents. DAZN needs Canelo to face someone that will bring in the subscribers, their chances of doing that are arguably far less if they pick one of the above three fighters.

Surprisingly, Chris Eubank Jr didn’t make the list of potential opponents for Canelo, and you can only guess why he’s not in the running for the Canelo’s September 12 contest. One possible reason is Eubank Jr is with Premier Boxing Champions, and that could make it tricky to put a fight together with Alvarez. However, Derevyanchenko is also with PBC, and he has an excellent chance of getting the Alvarez fight.

The likely overriding reason for why Eubank Jr isn’t an option is because he’s a wrong style match-up for Canelo. Eubank Jr throws a lot of punches and puts constant pressure on his opponents from start to finish in his fights.

Canelo has poor stamina, similar to Anthony Joshua, and he doesn’t do well when he’s pressed continuously without being allowed rest breaks.

Eubank Jr would be climbing all over Canelo in every second of the fight, making it difficult for him to catch his breath. Eubank Jr has that Marvin Hagler style of fighting that wears his opponents down. That’s got to be the main reason why Eubank Jr isn’t being considered for Canelo because he would likely easily beat Ryder, Lemieux, and Chudinov. Those guys wouldn’t last long against Eubank Jr.

Alvarez needs a good opponent

Boxing fans don’t want to see Canelo in another mismatch against an opponent that has zero chances of winning. They already saw that in Alvarez’s fights against over-the-hill Sergey Kovalev and Rocky Fielding. Those were terrible fights, and very dull due to the one-sided nature. In terms of drama, those fights were a one on a ten scale.

Canelo’s last fight against Kovalev in November had boxing fans saying that they felt it was a fixed fight. Kovalev showed no aggression throughout the contest and looked utterly shot.

Besides coming in the Olympics in 2008, the Ukrainian born Derevyanchnko ended his amateur career with an impressive 390-20 record.

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WBA Super World 168-pound champion Callum Smith once again is being considered by Canelo after their negotiations earlier this year failed to produce a fight. After Callum turned down an offer from Golden Boy, the attention shifted to WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders. Golden Boy appeared to have the Canelo-Saunders fight agreed on for May 2, but then the pandemic hit and blew those plans apart.

Hearn hoping Canelo picks Callum, Ryder or Saunders

When Saunders was later given a revised offer for a fight with Canelo for September 12, he wasn’t happy with the money being offered and the time that he had to prepare. As I mentioned earlier, Saunders feels he needed more time than ten weeks to get ready, which is understandable given how heavy he’s gotten.

Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing promotes Ryder and Callum Smith, as well as Saunders. He’s hoping that Golden Boy picks one of his three candidates for Alvarez to fight. Unfortunately, Callum lost a lot of credibility with boxing fans after his controversial 12 round unanimous decision win over John Ryder last November in Liverpool.

Ryder gave Callum a beating and had him looking like worn out at the end. The judges gave Ryder no credit for his performance, and they ended up giving Callum the victory by a set of overall scores.

It would have been better if Canelo had fought Callum Smith BEFORE he fought Ryder because his popularity has waned from that encounter. If Canelo faces Callum now, boxing fans will criticize him by saying he’s cherry-picking Ryder’s leftovers.

Former WBA super middleweight champion Fedor Chudinov (22-2, 15 KOs) brings very little to the table in terms of popularity. He’s not well known with the U.S boxing fans, and George Groves already exposed him in 2017 in losing by a sixth-round knockout.

Image: Sergiy Derevyanchenko the #1 option for Canelo Alvarez on Sept.12

Chudinov and Lemieux = the last resort for Alvarez

Although Chudinov has won his last eight fights since his loss to Groves, he’s mainly fought weak opposition. The names that stand out of those eight victories for Chudinov are Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Ryan Ford, and Nadjib Mohammedi.

Former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux (41-4, 34 KOs) hasn’t done much since losing to Saunders by an embarrassingly one-sided 12 round decision in 2017. Lemieux has won his last three fights, beating Karim Achour, Maksym Bursak, and Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan.

Lemieux would have a puncher’s chance against Canelo, but the fight wouldn’t generate a lot of interest from U.S boxing fans. Lemieux’s losses in the last nine years have been too noticeable for Canelo to get away with fighting him on September 12 without dumped on my fans.

Lemieux has lost to these fighters:

  • Gennadiy Golovkin
  • Marco Antonio Rubio
  • Joachim Alcine
  • Billy Joe Saunders

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