If you are to take Oscar de la Hoya at his word, then there remains work to be done regarding the next ring adventure for Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Speculation continues to swirl surrounding the next fight date for the 2019 Fighter of the Year and reigning World middleweight king. There is a strong likelihood of his fighting on May 2 as part of a Cinco de Mayo-themed event, although he’s yet to decide the opponent or even the desired weight at which he will return.
“Canelo right now has every option in the book because of his jumping up in weight class, whether he wants to fight at (160, 168) or even 175,” de la Hoya, chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions told BoxingScene.com during a recent media event in Los Angles. “I think the options are endless. We'll make a decision (soon).”
Alvarez (53-1-2, 36KOs) claimed two title wins in 2019, outpointing Daniel Jacobs in their three-belt middleweight clash last May before moving up two divisions to unseat three-time light heavyweight titlist Sergey Kovalev last November. The latter feat netted Alvarez a third divisional crown, becoming just the fourth male boxer in history—joining Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearn and Mike McCallum—to win major titles at junior middleweight, middleweight and light heavyweight.
Wedged in between was a secondary super middleweight title win in a three-round wipeout of Rocky Fielding in December 2018. Talks have swirled of Alvarez making a run at a more recognized version of a major title at 168 pounds and becoming a legitimate four-division titlist, with unbeaten two-division beltholder Billy Joe Saunders (29-0, 14KOs) as the name most often mentioned.
The British southpaw is coming off of an 11th round stoppage of Marcelo Coceres last November, overcoming a sluggish start to rally late in what marked his stateside debut. The uneven performance didn’t do much to generate the 30-year old any new fans, nor did it guarantee him a place in the corner opposite Alvarez for his next fight.
“There's so many options. I would hate to even throw a name out there,” de la Hoya noted. “Once you throw names out there, they act like they're the guy. The numbers go up drastically. He has many options.
“I will tell you one thing, Saunders is not the frontrunner. I have no idea who threw that name out there. Once we nail down that name, we'll have an announcement shortly. I have a trip to Mexico with Canelo and his team. We'll stay down there, iron out a deal and take it from there.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox