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Canelo Alvarez: Who will he fight next on September 12th?

Image: Canelo Alvarez: Who will he fight next on September 12th?

By Dan Ambrose: Canelo Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions have six weeks to find an opponent for the Mexican star’s next fight on September 12, and they’re quickly running out of time to make a selection.

With Alvarez’s next fight expected to take place without fans, it’s still essential for marketing and training purposes for his opponent to be named soon if he’s to stay on the September 12 date.

Canelo moving his next fight date would work

That date falls on the Mexican Independence Day holiday weekend, and Canelo likes to fight during that time each year. Canelo (53-1-2, 36 K.O.s) could skip the September holiday and battle in October, November, or December, which enable him to face Billy Joe Saunders.

The British fighter Saunders’ main reason for pulling his name out of consideration for Canelo’s next fight was because he felt he needed more time to get in shape. He put on weight during the lockdown, and wouldn’t have had enough time to burn it off before September 12.

As long a Canelo, 30, is willing to move to October, November, or December, then there’s no reason why he can’t schedule a fight against Saunders. Of course, we don’t know if Saunders will move the goalposts back and put up another obstacle for why he can’t fight Canelo in 2020.

If Saunders takes that course, then Canelo and Golden Boy can wash their hands of him permanently and focus on dangerous fighters that do want to fight. But if Canelo badly wants to face Saunders next, then he’s going to need to meet his asking price.

Hearn has offered Canelo four names

“Canelo Alvarez is still without an opponent with six weeks to go before his proposed September 12 fight date,” said Chris Mannix to DAZN. “In an attempt to make a fight with Alvarez, Eddie Hearn told IFL TV, ‘Canelo, if you’re listening, please one of our guys.’

Image: Canelo Alvarez: Who will he fight next on September 12th?

Hearn went on to say he’s offered Golden Boy several potential opponents for Alvarez, including Callum Smith, John Ryder, Demetrius Andrade, and Dmitry Bivol.

“But other lesser fighters like Jason Quigley and Tureano Johnson have also been rumored as potential opponents. So who, if anyone, will Canelo fight on September 12?”

“There’s a six-week deadline. They should have announced this fight a week or two ago,” said Sergio Mora on Canelo Alvarez’s September 12th fight. “They need time to push and promote a mega-event whether there’s going to be fans in attendance or not.”

Three of the four names Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has offered [Bivol, Andrade, and Callum] would be a murder’s row for him to pick from, and it’s unlikely that he’ll select any f them.

Callum isn’t as talented as Andrade or Bivol, so there’s a possibility Canelo could pick him, but it won’t be surprising if Ryder is the one that gets the fight. He fits in with the talent-level of Canelo’s recent opponents Sergey Kovalev and Daniel Jacobs.

Alvarez unlikely to face an elite name

“I don’t think it’s going to be an elite name,” said Mora on Canelo’s next fight. “It’s not going to be Callum Smith, and it’s certainly not going to be Dmitry Bivol or anyone on that caliber.

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“So now if it does happen and if September 12 is going to be salvaged, it’s going to have to be John Ryder or Turenao Johnson or the Irish kid [Jason Quigley].

“I can’t think of anyone else, but also, plan-B will be for him [Canelo] to fight in November just like he did last year. It was sad that he had to skip the Mexican Indepnandce Day holiday, which we all love, but at this point in 2020, what does it matter?

“Let him [Canelo] fight in November. Hopefully, the money can be announced, and the fight against Callum Smith can be announced, and everything can be alright. But other than that, it’s 2020, what do you expect?”

“Well, I don’t care if he [Canelo] fights in September, October, or November, but he can’t fight John Ryder,” said Mannix. “He can’t fight Tureano Johnson, and he can’t fight Jason Quigley.

“To me, the only two options for Canelo, whether it’s September 12 or November 1, is Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders. We know Billy Joe Saunders was out there as the likely opponent for May before the pandemic hit.”

Well, Saunders and Callum Smith aren’t elite names either, so Canelo won’t be facing an elite name if he selects one of those two. When you think of elite, you don’t picture Saunders or Callum.

An Elite fighter is someone like David Benavidez, Caleb Plant, Dmitry Bivol, Demetrius Andrade, and Artur Beterbiev. It just so happens that Canelo hasn’t shown interest in fighting any of them. Do you wonder why?

Image: Canelo Alvarez: Who will he fight next on September 12th?

Canelo should fight Callum Smith or Saunders

“So theoretically, you can go back to the table and make that deal for a little bit later on in the calendar,” said Mannix. “I still think Callum Smith is a makable fight for September 12. Callum Smith is training, and Canelo Alvarez is training.

“And while you want to make these fights and get them done sooner rather than later, there’s not as much urgency because you’re not selling tickets for an event like this.

“Canelo is either going to fight at a place like Fantasy Springs or some unique outpost like at Alcatraz or an aircraft carrier. I just think that with his opponent, there needs to be a line in the sand that’s drawn on the level.

“I don’t care that it’s 2020, and a pandemic is going on. Canelo Alvarez is only going to fight one time this year. His one time can’t be against [Tureano] Johnson or Quigley or anybody on that level.

“It has to be a high-level opponent. In my mind, there are only two of them. They’re Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders.”

Canelo should fight Callum Smith or Saunder if his goal is to help out DAZN with their global expansion into the U.K. market.

If that’s not any interest for Canelo, then he needs to pick an opponent that the U.S. casual boxing fans are familiar with. That would mean Plant, Beterbiev, Benavidez, or Andrade.

Canelo will probably fight at the Fantasy Springs in Indio, California, but that doesn’t matter. The fans don’t care where he fights. They just want to see him face someone good.

Image: Canelo Alvarez: Who will he fight next on September 12th?

Golden Boy doesn’t have much time

“I agree with you, and you made an excellent point there, which is a rarity because they’re not going to be people in the stands, they’re not going to have to push and promote the fight because of that,” said Mora.

“Then maybe we might still get a Callum Smith or Billy Joe Saunders fight on September 12 because there’s not going to be that much of a promotional push behind this fight.

“It’s going to be getting the network, getting the two to agree, and le’s fighting in six weeks. There’s a slight chance, but if it doesn’t happen this week, I’m telling you, six weeks is a deadline.

“I’ve never had a fight under six weeks made. That’s the deadline. You have to focus, you have to spar, and you have to prepare for the game plan and the strategy.

“Six weeks is the deadline. We have Friday, Saturday, or Sunday to get Callum Smith or Billy Joe Saunders [for Canelo].”

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Golden Boy could drag this out for another four weeks if they’re still interested in having Canelo fight on September 12. They can take their time because they don’t need to worry about selling tickets to fans.

The longer it takes for Golden Boy to announce Canelo’s next fight, the greater the chance that he’ll be facing a lesser name like Tureano Johnson, John Ryder, or Jason Quigley.

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