Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders close to being done for May
By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn is expressing optimism that he’ll be able to get the Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders 168-lb unification fight “over the line” for Cinco de Mayo weekend in May.
WBO super middleweight champion Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) wants the fight with WBA/WBC champ Canelo Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs), and he has plenty of time to train for the match.
Hearn’s worry about the Canelo – Billy Joe negotiations is whether Saunders will agree to take less money due to the fight not having a large gate.
There won’t be an opportunity for a large gate if Saunders faces Canelo in May because of the ongoing pandemic.
So if Saunders is hoping to fill a large stadium for the Canelo fight, he’s sadly mistaken.
Saunders, 31, can’t use the excuse of not having enough time to prepare for the Alvarez match as a reason why he can’t take it this time.
If Saunders wants to face Canelo, he’s going to have to get in the gym and start training ahead of time.
Canelo vs. Yildirim near done for February 27th
“We know he [Canelo] has the Yildirim mandatory that he wants to fit in between his notorious schedule in May and September, which is great to see him so active,” said Eddie Hearn to the Pug and Copp Boxing Podcast.
“We are in discussions with a couple of venues at the moment, and I’m hoping we can get there.
“I’m hoping we can finalize a deal. It’s six weeks away, we need to get that [Canelo vs. Yildirim] announced this week, and hopefully, he chooses us.
“It would be a real honor to promote Canelo Alvarez. I do love Texas, and I did love being there in December [for Ryan Garcia vs. Luke Campbell in Dallas]. It looks like we’ll hold Chocolatito vs. Estrada there in March.
“If we can squeeze one more in for February 27th [between Canelo and Yildirim], that would be a great option for us. In the next 48 hours,” Hearn said when asked when he’ll find out if he’ll be able to stage Canelo’s fight in Texas in February.
“It was Canelo Alvarez, it is a great opportunity for Texas, for the sport, for the commission. We’ll respect their decision, and hopefully, they give us the green light and we can bring another major fight to Texas,” Hearn said.
Hearn needs to get Canelo’s February 27th fight against Avni ‘Mr. Robot’ Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) done already for DAZN so they can make an announcement. This is a fight that Canelo wants, but not the U.S boxing fans.
DAZN and Matchroom are going to need to market the Canelo vs. Yildirim fight to the hilt, which won’t be easy because neither guy can speak English.
In addition to that, Yildirim hasn’t fought in two years and is coming off a loss to Anthony Dirrell. Again, this is Canelo’s baby. He wants this fight and it’s going to be a hard sell.
It’s a good thing for Canelo that his next fight will be on DAZN because he wouldn’t be able to bring in pay-per-view buys if he fought Yildrim.
Canelo – Saunders close to being done
“He [Canelo] could be the greatest fighter of our generation. The path is really clear for Billy Joe Saunders to fight Canelo Alvarez,” said Hearn. “We have just to try and agree to a deal to do that.
“We are at a stage where there’s no major gate, and fighters are taking less money. That’s not a subject that I’ll enjoy with Billy Joe Saunders.
“He feels he can win the fight [with Canelo], but he also wants to be rewarded for the fight. We got to try and reach a deal with him, which we’re close to doing.
“He really needs that fight too, but he’s not going to take it by any means necessary.
“But if Billy believes he can win that fight, which I believe he thinks he does, and I think he does in that fight, then he needs to take the opportunity.
“I believe I can get him over the line for that fight [with Canelo] for Cinco de Mayo weekend,” Hearn said.
Saunders is someone that is difficult to negotiate with, and it won’t be surprising if Canelo comes up empty again trying to set up a fight with him.
If it doesn’t work out this time for Canelo, he should give up on his dream of becoming the undisputed super middleweight champion. It’s more trouble than it’s worth for Alvarez to try and set up fights against Saunders and Caleb Plant.
The upside of Canelo potentially becoming the undisputed 168-lb champion isn’t worth the amount of energy that he’ll need to put in to put those fights together.
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