11
Aug
2020

Who’s in the frame for Canelo? – Seven possible opponents for May 2

Phil Jay 29/01/2020
Canelo

📸 Amanda Westcott

Many names have been bandied around to be in the opposite corner to Canelo Alvarez on May 2nd. WBN takes a closer look at who may get the nod.

As World Boxing News revealed earlier this month, Billy Joe Saunders was green-lighted by the four-weight ruler for his shortlist.

Sadly for the Briton, Saunders is not the only prominent contender.

The former WBO middleweight and current WBO super middleweight title-holder was firmly in the dark when WBN contacted him last week, with any current developments only known to Team Canelo, as usual for this time of year.

In the past, Canelo has shocked fans with his choice of opponent – Amir Khan being just one. This time around could be no different.

Talk of a Japanese jaunt against Ryota Murata was confirmed by Top Rank Chairman Bob Arum over the weekend, whilst Gennadiy Golovkin is said to be out of the frame altogether.

IBF chief Daryll Peoples wants ‘GGG’ to defend his red belt against Kamil Szeremeta, with seemingly no way out of the defense for the hard-punching Kazakh.

So where does that leave Canelo? – Well, a fight at super-middleweight is a clear frontrunner.

Below is a list of those who stand a chance of landing the bi-annual Las Vegas (or Japan) lottery ticket.


168

BILLY JOE SAUNDERS

The obvious choice for a dust-up in the Nevada desert. Saunders would bring an army of UK fans over, including ‘The Gypsy King’ Tyson Fury, who is a big pal of his.

Saunders has chipped away for some years now, most notably when schooling David Lemieux in December 2017. Now is the time if BJS is ever to land that big fish.

CALLUM SMITH

Another Brit who would send for a legion to descend on Las Vegas if called upon. Canelo has the opportunity to win the lineal 168-pound title should the World Boxing Super Series winner eventually by confirmed on the poster.

JOHN RYDER

We know Canelo likes to fight an Englishman. Ryder should be holding Smith’s straps after doing enough to defeat the Liverpool man last year. Canelo could look at this fact favorably when picking his next challenge.

DAVID BENAVIDEZ

An all-Mexican affair would light up Cinco de Mayo weekend and provide Canelo with a chance to better his last fight with a compatriot in Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

The May 2017 bout was totally one-sided and disappointed those inside the T-Mobile Arena and on TV.

RYOTA MURATA

An outsider despite the constant rumors that Canelo wants to fight in Japan. With Floyd Mayweather sniffing around for a return to the ring, it’s hard to see Canelo giving up his two regular Mexican weekend slots on the Vegas strip.

175

DMITRY BIVOL

Heading back to 175 to face the Russian, who is also on the DAZN books, would be another long shot for Canelo. Bivol is a huge dangerman and arguably a far tougher test than Sergey Kovalev.

SERGEY KOVALEV II

‘The Krusher’ was ahead on points when Canelo scored his late stoppage back in November after being given little time to prepare. Kovalev would no doubt jump at the chance to have a second opportunity.

OTHERS

Demetrius Andrade, Jaime Munguia, and Chris Eubank Jr. could be considerations. But with many options open, Canelo seems to have more than enough to chew on.

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay