It’s becoming a bit more clear why Canelo Alvarez vacated the WBO light heavyweight title earlier this week.
According to Matchroom Boxing head Eddie Hearn, Alvarez will continue campaigning in his career as a super middleweight, likely against a selection of three champions in his stable on Cinco De Mayo weekend in 2020.
“The feeling I get is that Canelo’s next fight will come between Demetrius Andrade, Callum Smith or Billy Joe Saunders — probably the last two. I think he’ll want to fight at 168,” Hearn told BoxingScene.com in an interview. “If he doesn’t fight Smith or Saunders, they’ll fight each other in the UK in a unification fight.”
Alvarez’s options are aplenty after knocking out Sergey Kovalev in November and decisioning Daniel Jacobs in May, two performances that have has a frontrunner to win fighter of the year honors.
Alvarez holds a secondary version (regular) of the WBA super middleweight belt, while Smith is the “Super” champion. Saunders is the WBO champion, and took the mic to call out Alvarez in the ring after a lackluster, if not vulnerable, performance Nov. 9 in his US debut. Saunders was behind on one judge’s scorecards to little-known Argentininan Marcelo Esteban Coceres before knocking him out in the eleventh.
Andrade is the WBO middleweight champion, but Alvarez has not admitted whether or not he will continue fighting at 160. He’d also not a fan of Andrade’s subdued fighting style.
Another champion sitting at 160 is longtime Alvarez foe Gennadiy Golovkin, but Hearn doesn’t believe the Kazakh fighter is next in line to fight the Mexican pound-for-pound king.
“For me, I don’t think so [that Canelo-Golovkin are fighting next],” said Hearn. “I think that's something DAZN will push. My business is with Gennadiy Golovkin. I can’t talk on behalf of Canelo Alvarez.”
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 Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com and currently does TV commentary for combat sports programming that airs on Fox Sports and hosts his own radio show in Los Angeles. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at [email protected].