A potential May 24 clash between Canelo Alvarez and Ryota Murata has collapsed before it really got going, according to reports in Japan.
Murata was linked to facing Canelo at the Saitama Super Arena, once again down to rumors coming out of the Land of the Rising Sun.
As WBN previously revealed, the Mexican superstar had already approved talks with Billy Joe Saunders. That was before anything came from the Asian press.
Now, just over a week later, Canelo vs Saunders is firmly back on the agenda. Plus, a Cinco de Mayo date of May 2 is once again back in the frame.
Saunders, alongside Brit rival Callum Smith and a couple of other considerations, will be on full alert. Confirmation of who gets the nod could be imminent.
It’s highly likely Canelo will campaign at 168 pounds for his next fight. But due to weight fluctuations, Saunders may well have a better chance of landing the fight.
Canelo will want a fighter who has more recently moved up in weight, rather than one who is fully acclimatized to super-middleweight.
Only just facing a much bigger test in Sergey Kovalev, Canelo is certainly looking to have a more even playing field for his next outing.
This is one of the reasons why Murata was on the shortlist in the first place. And why Murata could still be part of the shake-up for Cinco de Mayo.
But in terms of prestige and giving the fans a great fight for the spring, Saunders ticks all the boxes.
The undefeated two-weight world champion would bring an army of fans to the famous Nevada strip.
As usual, it’s all down to Canelo. And whether he wants to take an easier option on the back of becoming a four-weight ruler last November.
Treading water since a win over David Lemieux, Saunders has been hopeful on Canelo for some time. The only thing which could go against him is whether Golden Boy wants a Mexican in the opposite corner for Canelo’s next fight.
If so, Jaime Munguia or David Benavidez then become more significant faces in the picture. The former is promoted by Oscar De La Hoya, meaning it would be an easy contest to make for the Mexican holiday weekend.
We’ll find out this month.