Trainer Joe Gallagher is still hopeful his charge Callum Smith will land a high-profile fight with Saul Alvarez.
“Everything’s crossed for the Canelo fight,” he explained to BoxingScene.com.
“We said all along, we’re not [Sergey] Kovalev, [Danny] Jacobs, 11, 12, 13 million dollars. “We’re not Billy Joe neither, we’d have less than that.”
Saunders was said to have been set for an $8 million payday until his May date with Alvarez became a casualty of coronavirus.
“It comes to a point where we’re not going to sell our soul,” Gallagher added. “What I’ve been told is Golden Boy have got $40 million and 35 for Canelo, so they’ve got five for an opponent.”
Other front-runners, alongside 168lbs champion Smith, include Jason Quigley and former Smith foe John Ryder, who pushed Smith all the way last year before losing on points.
“I know Ryder is $1.5-$2 [million], but that’s a hard sell and a tough one to launch [DAZN] in the UK, though if he does get it I think they’ll call it the People’s Champ versus Canelo and they’ll build from that angle,” Gallagher said.
The Manchester trainer is referring to the verdict Smith earned over Ryder, which was unpopular in a lot of quarters. He’s also talking about DAZN launching in the UK, which they’d planned to do with the Canelo-Saunders fight.
“But that’s another thing, the arrogance…” Joe added. “I get on very well with Golden Boy but they think whoever he’s fighting people will tune in because Canelo’s that big a star. “How do you compete with that? For boxing, it needs a big fight very quickly and this [Smith-Canelo] is a huge fight. We didn’t have Cinco de Mayo, the trouble is there’s no live gate, no merchandise, nothing like that so I’ve said to Callum, Canelo’s a DAZN fighter. You’re not a DAZN fighter. You’re a Sky fighter. So why don’t you go to Sky and say you ‘want to do this fight and say you want money for it, are you going to put it on as a pay-per-view event?’ Because if they want to launch DAZN in the UK I’d say to Callum I’d want some more money for it otherwise I’m Sky, me and Canelo will go on Sky in the UK and not DAZN.
“I saw an interview with Eddy Reynoso [Canelo’s trainer] who said they wanted to fight “Callum Smith, everyone knows he’s the number one and that’s who they want to fight.”
Gallagher is surprised that with Covid 19 playing havoc with the boxing schedules that Alvarez is still in line to make $35million, even if he fights behind closed doors, while the opponent will have to cut his slice of the pie.
“I just think it’s down to the way the world is at the moment with the coronavirus,” continued Gallagher.
“I can see a career best payday for John Ryder in the current climate, why wouldn’t he want 1.5-2 million? Of course he’d take it, fair play. They weren’t paying the money Callum Smith would want but Callum Smith isn’t asking for silly money either. I know Canelo wants Callum Smith, DAZN wants Callum Smith. That’s it. John Ryder is a good, solid pro, but that’s a hard sell in America. With Callum they will see he [Canelo] beat Rocky Fielding and Callum beat Rocky… [with Ryder] Jack Arnfield, who’s he? [Nick] Blackwell, who’s he? Billy Joe? And there are too many Ls, even though last time out [against Smith] was a good performance. Is it going to just be a one-fight show? Or how many are going to be on the undercard? It’s all money. You could just be tuning in for one fight because there’s no money for it.”