Canelo Alvarez will have some catching up to do on the calendar as soon as coronavirus clears away.
Boxing’s biggest breadwinner wants to return to the ring as soon as September, presumably for Mexican Independence Day weekend, and again in December, according to his coach and lifelong confidant Eddy Reynoso.
“We realistically want two fights this year,” Reynoso told Box Azteca. “We couldn’t fight in May, so we are looking at September and December. We’re talking about [potential opponents] like Billy Joe Saunders.
“There’s also Caleb Plant and the WBC world titleholder at 168 pounds [David Benavidez]. There are several [options] … Golovkin could be the fight for December. His people have already said that he doesn’t want to fight Canelo until after the [Kamil Szeremeta] fight.”
Alvarez was supposed to fight Saunders on May 2, but the fight that was originally agreed upon was never officially announced due to the pandemic.
Alvarez may have to consider fighting in crowdless arenas if he wants to get back into the ring, while promoter Golden Boy will have to pass up the sizable gates that Alvarez generates.
Alvarez also controls the fate of three divisions. He can currently pick and choose from a pool of contenders and champions at 160, 168 and 175 depending on how he wants to steer his career.
Cooler and clearer heads have prevailed of late in the longtime stalemate between Alvarez and Golovkin, and making a third fight seems more likely to occur after contentious negotiations in 2019.
Both fighters are signed with DAZN, but Alvarez has pursued other challenges since scoring a controversial decision win over Golovkin in 2018. Golovkin lost a little bit of his luster in his last fight versus Sergiy Derevyanchenko in October, claiming the middleweight belt that Alvarez vacated just ahead of crushing KO win over Sergey Kovalev in November.
Golovkin recently jabbed back at Alvarez business wise for side-stepping him in recent fights and is adamant on fighting his IBF mandatory Szeremeta before meeting Alvarez again.
Alvarez considered fighting Plant in May but the IBF super middleweight titlist was uneasy in getting back into camp immediately after his Feb. 15 win over Vincent Feigenbutz.
An all-Mexican showdown with Benavidez would be a mouthwatering matchup, and Alvarez would be well inclined to pick the 23-year old, the WBC super middleweight champion who is still in a ripe stage of his career.
Ultimately, however, Saunders may be the opponent that wins the September sweepstakes, as the original deal was done.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com.