Anthony Dirrell is among a small group of opponents Golden Boy Promotions is considering for Canelo Alvarez’s next fight, BoxingScene.com has learned.
Golden Boy, Alvarez’s promoter, is in the process of exploring a fight against a cheaper opponent than Billy Joe Saunders for the Mexican superstar’s next bout because he might have to box at least once without fans in attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions. In addition to Dirrell, middleweight contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko is another opponent Golden Boy is considering for Alvarez’s next fight, according to a Tweet by The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger on Wednesday night.
Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) and England’s Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) were supposed to fight for Saunders’ WBO super middleweight title May 2 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Contracts had not been signed for Alvarez-Saunders, however, before that event was scrapped because of the global health crisis.
It remains possible Alvarez-Saunders could be put together again, but Golden Boy is seeking an opponent for Alvarez that’ll cost less than Saunders. The British southpaw reportedly had agreed to an approximate $8 million package for fighting Alvarez in a DAZN main event.
The 29-year-old Alvarez is expected to return to the ring September 14, though that date could change. The site of the four-division champion’s next bout hasn’t been determined.
The 35-year-old Dirrell (33-2-1, 24 KOs) lost his last fight by ninth-round knockout to David Benavidez (22-0, 19 KOs), but Dirrell is a two-time WBC super middleweight champion. Dirrell, of Flint, Michigan, also is a legitimate 168-pound opponent, whereas Derevyanchenko would have to move up from the middleweight limit of 160 to face Alvarez in a super middleweight match.
Ukraine’s Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs) also is a potential opponent for WBC middleweight champ Jermall Charlo (30-0, 22 KOs), which provides him with a high-profile, profitable alternative to fighting Alvarez.
Derevyanchenko stated during a recent appearance on “The PBC Podcast” that he expects to challenge Charlo “in due time.” The 34-year-old Derevyanchenko is the WBC’s number one contender for Charlo’s championship, but the WBC has not yet declared Derevyanchenko his mandatory challenger.
Dirrell is advised by Al Haymon, who has a contentious history with Golden Boy, but Haymon also advises Derevyanchenko and Daniel Jacobs. Alvarez beat Brooklyn’s Jacobs (36-3, 30 KOs) by unanimous decision 13 months ago at T-Mobile Arena.
Alvarez has changed his stance on fighting Gennadiy Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) a third time and would’ve welcomed that grudge match as his first post-pandemic appearance. Golovkin’s handlers have informed DAZN’s executives that the Kazakhstan native wants to stick to his original plan – a fight against the mandatory challenger for his IBF middleweight title, Poland’s Kamil Szeremeta (21-0, 5 KOs), and then, assuming he wins, a third showdown with Alvarez.
Alvarez-Golovkin III would have to take place before a crowd because Golden Boy and Eddie Hearn, Golovkin’s co-promoter, wouldn’t sacrifice the substantial ticket revenue that fight would produce.
Their first fight, which resulted in a controversial split draw in September 2017, generated more than $27 million in ticket sales. Their rematch, which Alvarez won by majority decision in September 2018, made almost $24.5 million from ticket sales.
The first two Alvarez-Golovkin fights were held at T-Mobile Arena.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.