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Willie Monroe: I’m READY to fight Canelo Alvarez

Image: Willie Monroe: I'm READY to fight Canelo Alvarez

By Sean Jones: Willie Monroe Jr is volunteering to be Canelo Alvarez’s next opponent for September 12 on DAZN, and he says he’ll give him a better fight than the guys he’s considering for that date. Monroe (24-3, 6 KOs) has a lot of experience in twice challenging for world titles in the last five years, but he’s not been able to find success.

The southpaw Monroe has wanted a fight against Canelo for over five years, but the match has remained elusive. Monroe’s slick combat style and his southpaw stance if the likely reason Golden Boy never chose him for Canelo.

Monroe is getting a late start in making himself available for the Canelo lottery, as his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions have been pouring through names for well over a month now.

Image: Willie Monroe: I'm READY to fight Canelo Alvarez

Monroe a longshot at getting Canelo fight

These fighters are Monroe’s competition for the Alvarez match September 12:

  • John Ryder
  • Jason Quigley
  • Tureano Johnson
  • Anthony Dirrell
  • Callum Smith

Monroe would have a good shot at beating Ryder, Quigley, and Tureano. Callum and Dirrell might be a little too tough for Monroe in the power department.

The only name that fans were excited about Canelo fighting is Sergiy Derevyanchenko, but he chose to challenge WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo instead.

WBA super middleweight champion Callum Smith is the best fighter in the above list, but he’s also the most dangerous. That’s probably why Golden Boy hasn’t picked him yet. Fighting Callum is the equivalent of touching the third rail in the subway, and it doesn’t look like Alvarez wants any part of that.

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Callum, 6’2″, has the size of a light heavyweight, but somehow he’s still able to drain himself down to compete against smaller fighters at 168.

You can’t blame Callum for not wanting to fight at 175. After all, who wants to face Artur Beterbiev? Callum might be too big for the 5’9″ Canelo, and that’s likely the reason why he won’t get picked.

Monroe missed out on Alvarez contest in 2017

Several other fighters were interested in fighting Canelo, but Golden Boy didn’t make a move to sign them.

The 33-year-old Monroe has a three-fight winning streak since losing to former WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders in 2017 by a 12 round unanimous decision. In 2015, Monroe Jr challenged WBA/WBC 160-pound champion Gennadiy Golovkin but was stopped in the sixth round in Inglewood, California.

“I signed a contract to fight Canelo,” said Monroe Jr about his fight against Gabriel Rosado in 2016.  “I think his people were arrogant in thinking that I would not win that fight. Well, I won that fight, and the fight with Canelo never happened.”

It’s believed that Golden Boy wanted Gabriel Rosado to face Canelo in 2016, not Monroe. So when the Rosado vs. Monroe fight took place, it was talked about the winner of the battle getting Canelo. However, Monroe threw a wrench in Golden Boy’s plans by beating Rosado, but sadly, he wasn’t given the fight against Alvarez. Instead of Canelo facing Monroe, he took on Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in May 2017.

Golden Boy wants a cheap opponent

Monroe is ranked #9 by the WBO at 168, which is a higher ranking than the #15 ranked Quigley at 160, but that might not be a concern for Golden Boy.

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They want a cheap opponent because Canelo’s September 12 fight will take place without a live gate. As a result, Monroe’s chances of being selected for the Canelo fight will come to money, popularity, and how tough of a battle he’ll give the Mexican star.

DAZN will also have a say so in determining Canelo’s opponent. They’re paying Alvarez a lot of money, and they don’t want to see him fight guys that the boxing public has no interest in seeing. Canelo has already done that in choosing Rocky Fielding in 2018. Golden Boy doesn’t want Canelo to lose, so if they rate Monroe as a little too good, then he would get picked. Monroe is someone that Canelo should be able to beat without problems.

“I am ready, willing, and able to fight Canelo. Look at my track record, I am always willing to take on anyone. I stood and fought with Gennady Golovkin,” said Monroe.

Fans won’t react well to Canelo facing Monroe

In Monroe’s last three fights, he’s beaten these fighters: Hugo Centeno Jr, Javier Francisco Maciel, and Carlos Galvan. Centeno used to be an excellent fighter, but he’s been losing as of lately. But for Monroe to beat him, that’s impressive.

Image: Willie Monroe: I'm READY to fight Canelo Alvarez

The public’s reaction to Canelo choosing Monroe would likely be adverse, and that’s an understatement. Hardcore boxing fans know of Monroe from his losses to GGG, Saunders, and Darnell Boone. The casual followers of the sport have likely never heard of Monroe, and they won’t be excited enough about this match-up to subscribe to DAZN.

I see some of the guys who are in the mix, and I feel that I compare favorably to their resume’s, and would definitely give Canelo a better challenge, so I would love that opportunity,” said Monroe.

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