With Canelo temporarily suspended and potentially out of a Cinco de Mayo date with Gennady Golovkin, attention is being turned to who could replace the Mexican – if required.
Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler has confirmed ‘GGG’ will fight on May 5th in Las Vegas whatever happens and will now have to begin the groundwork on a possible substitute.
Loeffler will need to confirm an agreement with that said boxer by April 10 ahead of a Nevada State Athletic Commission decision on whether Canelo will be allowed to fight.
So who could that fighter be?
Well, talk of Billy Joe Saunders being asked to replace Canelo is off the table due to an injury the Briton suffered in training to face Martin Murray.
Saunders won’t be ready until June, as per the rearranged date with Murray, leaving Golovkin and Loeffler to look elsewhere.
Danny Jacobs also won’t be allowed to break off from commitments to a Matchroom USA event in April, which means ‘GGG’ has few high-profile options left open.
Jermall Charlo is fighting on Showtime two weeks prior, whilst Demetrius Andrade could potentially be a sound option if agreeable to promoter Artie Pellulo.
Andrade hasn’t fought since late last year and would certainly be the most eye-catching opponent for Golovkin should his availability be confirmed.
Gary O’Sullivan, scheduled to fight May 4 before facing Canelo in September, should be another consideration and has the edge on most due to his ties with Golden Boy.
The likes of Matt Korobov and Sergiy Derevyanchenko could well be persuaded to take the fight, whilst the notion of Golovkin facing a big Mexican name must be considered seriously by Loeffler and HBO.
Canelo’s last foe on the regular Cinco de Mayo venture was Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, although the manner of the former WBC middleweight title holder’s one-sided loss last year would seemingly rule him out.
Roberto Garcia won the WBC Silver middleweight belt last year and may well fit the profile, whilst Canelo’s own brother Ramon Alvarez would make an interesting choice to stir the pot.
WBA ‘Regular’ champion Ryota Murata is the WBA’s first in line to seal one sole ruler at 160 pounds as Golovkin bids to avoid his career being delayed by Canelo’s misfortune.
Without a fight since September, Golovkin’s usual busy schedule of fights has been hampered over the last couple of years, meaning a spring outing is a must for the current pound for pound number one.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay