By Craig Daly: Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza said today that there’s no way of knowing yet whether undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez will choose to face Terence Crawford next after his fight this Saturday night against Jermell Charlo.
(Photo credit: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions)
Espinoza isn’t ruling out the possibility of Canelo (59-2-2, 39 KOs) facing Crawford after Saturday’s fight against Charlo on Showtime PPV.
The outcome of the fight with Jermell will have much to do with the decision. If Canelo loses to Charlo (35-1-1,19 KOs), he’ll likely go in the direction of a rematch rather than moving on as he did after his defeat last year at the hands of Dmitry Bivol.
Crawford (40-0, 31 KOs) has made it known that he only wants to fight the Canelo-Jermell winner, and he seems keen on facing Canelo rather than taking a rematch with Errol Spence.
Canelo had initially dismissed the notion of fighting Crawford next, but he seemed to change his mind, saying hewould be open to it.
“Look, I understand there’s a lot of changes in the media industry, and there’s a lot of changes in the sports industry. Things change. These rumors come up, but the reality is if we have something to announce, we’ll announce it, and until then, we keep doing these big fights,” said Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza to Fighthype, making it clear that he’s not ready for the big announcement that fans are waiting for about the network pulling out of doing non-PPV boxing events.
“We’ve got this one on Saturday, and we’ve got a couple more probably announced probably within a week or so after the fight, and we just keep rolling,” said Espinoza.
“Tank was out of the ring for a while; he wants to get everything in order. It made sense for him to come back next year,” said Espinoza. “We’re looking for the biggest fight possible for Tank. He sees all these big fights happening, and he wants to do the biggest fights possible. So we’ll be looking forward to that. Anytime Tank fights, it’s a huge event.
“Look, there was a silly debate that went on after the Tank-Ryan fight about the face of boxing. Who’s the face? Is it one of the two of them, or is it Canelo? Is it somebody else? I think what a lot of people mean by the ‘Face of Boxing’ is who will be poised to pick up with the next generation.
“Who will be the next ‘Face of Boxing’? I think the Tank’s got to be at the top of that list.
“There’s been a lot of talk about it. Initially, Crawford said ‘catchweight,’ then he said 168,” said Espinoza about Crawford wanting to fight Canelo. “Initially, Canelo said, ‘No, he’s too small,’ and then he said he’d be open to it.
“Look, there’s no way to really predict until we get into the negotiation. Canelo’s not really talking about anything other than this fight. As soon as the fight’s over, we start the discussions on the next fight, and I expect that he would consider whatever is available to him, the biggest fights possible, the most challenging fights possible.
“If you look at what he’s done throughout his career, it’s been taking the most difficult fights whenever he can.
“There’s a lot in that division, whether Haney’s at 40 or 35. Shakur is 35, some of the younger guys, Frank Martin, and others,” said Espinoza about options for Gervonta Davis.
“There’s plenty of talent there. So it doesn’t necessarily have to be Haney. I don’t think 140 is Tank’s preferred weight, but we’ll see in the long run. I wouldn’t put any of them at the head of the line. I think he’s willing to fight all of it,” said Espinoza about Gervonta.