Seemingly out of nowhere, Canelo Alvarez may be facing Gennady Golovkin next. We told you last week that it seemed likely that Canelo would be facing undefeated Brit, Billy Joe Saunders, but this fight seems to have been put on a back burner following the COVID-19 pandemic.
History Between Canelo and GGG
Anyone who is a combat sports fan knows the history between Mexico’s biggest boxing star, Canelo and the hard-hitting, scary GGG. The two have faced each other twice previously, first in 2017 and then again in the rematch in 2018.
In the first fight, GGG outlanded Canelo in 10 of the 12 rounds, according to Compubox. Despite this, the fight controversially ended in a split draw. One judge ruled it 114-114, one had it 115-113 for Golovkin and most controversially of all, judge Adalaide Byrd scored the fight 118-110 for Canelo. The rematch was set, almost immediately due to the controversial ending to the first bout. Many thought that GGG should have gotten his hand raised on the night but it wasn’t to be.
The second fight was scheduled for May, however, it was delayed as a result of a failed drug test. Canelo failed two random tests, testing positive for Clenbuterol. He denied any wrongdoing, accepted a 6-month fine and scheduled the rematch for September.
The rematch itself was again a close and cagey affair. The fight ended after a further 12 rounds of non-stop action. Canelo this time came away with the win, picking up the WBA (Super), WBC and IBO middleweight titles, along with The Ring and lineal middleweight titles. The judges scored the bout 115-113 X 2 and 114-114 in Canelo’s favour.
Reports suggest that these two top P4P boxers have verbally agreed to a third fight. It is a fight that somewhat makes sense, as both previous bouts were so close. The scheduled trilogy is thought to be targetted for September 12th (the weekend before Mexican independence day) in Texas.
If this fight were to go ahead, it would mean Canelo would be dropping down two weight classes from his previous bout. He ballooned up to light heavyweight to defeat veteran Sergey Kovalev. It is likely that this bout will take place at middleweight, meaning Canelo will have to shed the pounds.
What about Billy Joe?
The bout between Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders was supposed to be announced last week according to TalkSport, but the COVID-19 outbreak prevented this. It looks as though this fight could still go ahead, just not on the date originally planned. It was scheduled for May 2nd, but promoter Eddie Hearne who represents Saunders under the Matchroom banner stated that it is postponed, but they are still looking to make the fight happen in June.
Saunders himself also Tweeted suggesting that the fight is still on, despite the rumors of a trilogy fight between Canelo and GGG.
— billyjoesaunders (@bjsaunders_) March 17, 2020
ESPN Mexico suggests that Canelos plan is to defeat the undefeated Brit in the summer, before moving onto the Golovkin fight in September. Fair play to Canelo for being ambitious, but Billy Joe Saunders is not someone you want to look past.
The Undefeated Saunders
There is no denying that the GGG fight is more attractive to boxing fans than Canelo vs Saunders. Saunders isn’t known too well in America, despite his undefeated record and being the WBO super-middleweight champion. The reason for this is that his fights are far from entertaining. Arguably his most entertaining fight was against David Lemieux back in 2017. In a bout that was meant to be a close affair, Saunders dominated the Canadian to the unanimous decision victory. Saunders definitely knows how to wins fights but unless you knock Canelo out… It is difficult to get a decision victory against him.
The boxing IQ
Billy Joe Saunders put on a boxing masterclass against David Lemieux… ? pic.twitter.com/f6xPIUEvSo
— Boxing on BT Sport ? (@BTSportBoxing) May 12, 2019
The fight that many British boxing fans want to see was Canelo vs Callum Smith. Winner of the World Boxing Super Series, undefeated at 27-0, holder of the WBA and The Ring super-middleweight titles, Smith could hold the key to unlocking the Canelo puzzle.
Smith is a huge super-middleweight and it won’t be long until we see him move up to light heavyweight. He has legitimate knockout power, finishing 19 of his 27 wins. Smith has the skills and ability to cause Canelo problems and was previously in the running for the May 2nd bout. This was before the Saunders fight was agreed.
The thing that let Smith down is his lacklustre performance last time out against John Ryder. Many thought that Ryder deserved to win the bout and this arguably played against Smith in the negotiations. He, like Saunders also isn’t a big name outside of Britain. This also arguably played against him in the negotiations for the Canelo fight in May.
As things stand, Canelo will face Billy Joe Saunders in June (if the COVID-19 pandemic allows this fight to go ahead) and will then face Gennady Golovkin in the trilogy fight in September, should he get through Saunders. These are certainly exciting times to be a middleweight or super-middleweight in boxing.
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