Hearn: Canelo will fight Saunders or Golovkin in May 2021 if he beats Callum

By Boxing News - 11/24/2020 - Comments

By Brad Slotnick: Eddie Hearn wants to match Canelo Alvarez against Billy Joe Saunders or Gennadiy Golovkin in May 2021 if he wins his December 19th fight against Callum Smith.

If Canelo loses to Callum, Hearn believes there will be a rematch between them. Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) obviously has too much pride for him to walk away from a loss to WBA super middleweight champion Callum (27-0, 19 KOs) without attempting to avenge the loss.

It’ll be up to Canelo, which fighter he wants for his May fight next year. If Golovkin and Saunders are the options, it’s going to be interesting to see which of them Canelo picks.

If Canelo wants to ignore the fans, he’ll pick Saunders rather than Golovkin. He’s made GGG wait for three years for the trilogy, and he might make him wait longer.

Saunder (29-0, 14 KOs) needs to win his December 4th defense against Martin Murray (39-5-1, 17 KOs), which he’s expected to win, but you never know.

Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) has a title defense of his IBF middleweight belt for December 18th against mandatory Kamil Szeremeta (21-0, 5 KOs) in Hollywood, Florida. There’s a good chance Golovkin will come out of that fight victorious and still holding onto his IBF title.

Image: Hearn: Canelo will fight Saunders or Golovkin in May 2021 if he beats Callum

Canelo could face GGG or Saunders next May

“This is a one-fight deal at the moment,” said Hearn of Canelo fighting on DAZN on December 19th. “I have to hats on with my Matchroom Boxing and my heart. We’re looking for a Callum Smith victory [over Canelo], and if that’s the case, there will probably be a Callum Smith-Canelo 2 fight.

“With my DAZN hat on, if Canelo wins that fight, we’ll be looking to make a fight with Billy Joe Saunders or GGG. So I think there’s a steady flow of fights for Canelo Alvarez on DAZN.

“There wasn’t enough time, and I’m not sure he wanted to do it, to be honest with you, to pen a multi-fight deal with four and a half weeks before the Callum Smith fight.

“We were happy, DAZN was happy to start that relationship fresh if you like, for Matchroom to prove ourselves to Canelo Alvarez. Ticking the boxes for our guy getting the biggest fight that we could possibly for his career in Callum Smith.

“Everyone is really happy at the moment, and hopefully, it’s the beginning of a long and successful process. Only for this fight,” Hearn said when asked if Canelo is exclusive to DAZN.

No one will be surprised if the 6’3″ Callum Smith defeats Canelo on December 19th due to his size and power. Callum also a different style that Canelo hasn’t dealt with before. He’s awkward, tall, and possesses tremendous power in both hands.

Image: Hearn: Canelo will fight Saunders or Golovkin in May 2021 if he beats Callum

Canelo might have gained the self-confidence to fight Smith after his less than impressive showing against John Ryder last November, but that was an odd fight.

Smith just barely missed a high number of huge shots that would have likely knocked Ryder out if they’d landed clean.

Andrade will fight Liam Williams in February

“He was due to fight Dusty Harrison, but he got COVID,” said Hearn about Demetrius Andrade. “We looked for some replacements for Demetrius, and he said, ‘Look, I just want to be in big fights now, great fights.’

“He’s looking for that standout fight. He wants the Billy Joe Saunders fight, and if Billy Joe doesn’t get Canelo Alvarez in May, it will be Andrade against Saunders, probably at 168.

“But he [Andrade] also has a mandatory challenger against Liam Williams. So that’s who he will fight next, Liam Williams, subject to Andrade landing a major fight, and that will be in February, hopefully with crowds back in Providence [Rhode Island],” said Hearn.

WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade was supposed to be fighting this Friday night against Dusty Harrison, but he tested positive for COVID-19.

With Andrade only wanting big fights, he’ll sit until he makes his defense against his WBO mandatory Liam Williams in February. Hearn holds out the possibility of Andrade getting an important fight against Saunders, but that doesn’t seem likely.

Image: Hearn: Canelo will fight Saunders or Golovkin in May 2021 if he beats Callum

Hearn says Canelo vs. Smith was tough to negotiate

“It was definitely one of the hardest deals I’ve put together because firstly we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and the revenue just isn’t there,” said Hearn about him putting together the deal between Canelo Alvarez and Callum Smith.

“You had the legal situation between Canelo, Golden Boy, and DAZN and the separation of those three entities. My plan and my strategy were first and foremost to make the fight for my guy that we’ve had since his professional debut.

“He’s become a world champion, the Ring Magainze champion. I wanted to give him a career-defining fight, and a legacy fight, and the one is Canelo Alvarez.

“I needed to try and also could do that and make it happen and bring Canelo back to DAZN, it would be a huge statement, it would be huge for the platform, it would be huge for Callum Smith, and it would be huge for boxing to bring arguably the biggest name in the sport back in action at the back end of the year.

It was really, really difficult, and there was plenty of times where I thought, ‘This isn’t going to happen.’ We hung in there. Canelo is going to make his own decisions, as these big stars do.

Image: Hearn: Canelo will fight Saunders or Golovkin in May 2021 if he beats Callum

“And when he put out the social media post saying he’s going to be announcing his opponent at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time, we sort of spoke to ourselves and said, ‘We hope that’s us,’ because that morning, we didn’t have a deal, we didn’t have a contract. We still had a lot to discuss,” said Hearn.

It had to have been a real pain for Hearn to negotiate the Canelo vs. Smith fight, but kudos to him for getting it done. This is the fight that Callum has been waiting for his entire career, and it’s here for him.

Smith can prove himself as the best at 168 again like he did when he defeated George Groves in 2018 to win the World Boxing Super Series tournament.

Matchroom lands it’s first huge U.S fight

“It was obviously a good move for Canelo because we moved very quickly to get it over the line,” Hearn said. “We actually completed the deal and signed the contract ten minutes before the announcement.

“I’m really pleased with that. We’ve been looking for a major fight for Matchroom to stage for a long time in the U.S, and I can’t lie; it was more difficult than I thought it would be.

“I still feel like we’ve done a great job, and DAZN has the best schedule in U.S boxing. But this is a major, major, major coup, but as great as it is to bring Canelo back to DAZN, I’m rooting for Callum Smith to be the winner.

“I have to respect Canelo Alvarez because he’s incredible. He just wants to fight the champions. He could have made the same money taking an easier fight.

“Last year, he boxed Danny Jacobs for the middleweight championship, he boxed ‘Krusher’ Kovalev for the WBO light heavyweight championship.

Image: Hearn: Canelo will fight Saunders or Golovkin in May 2021 if he beats Callum

“Now in his next fight, he’s boxing Callum Smith for the WBA and Ring super middleweight championships. So this is great to see,” Hearn added.

It took Hearn a while to finally get that big fight for the U.S shores, but he’s got with Canelo-Smith. If he can set-up a fight between Canelo and Golovkin in May of next year, that would be a second major coup for him.