As fans know, superstar Canelo Alvarez has picked unbeaten British fighter Billy Joe Saunders for his next fight, set for May 2 in Las Vegas (although Canelo was mad as hell that the fight was “announced” last week, saying that he and he alone will make the fight 100 percent official). The WBO super-middleweight champ has long wanted a crack at the Mexican pound-for-pound star, and southpaw Saunders believes he can and will defeat Canelo.
But the other man who was under consideration for the May 2 fight, in WBA 168 pound champ Callum Smith, says he feels he is a tougher fight for Canelo and that he was presented with a low-ball offer to fight Canelo, because, as he says, “he never really wanted to fight me.” Smith, speaking with Sky Sports, said he was intentionally offered a low fight purse for the bout, one Canelo and his team “knew” he would turn down.
“They made me an offer which I believe was too low. I said no. Billy Joe said no to the same offer,” Smith, also unbeaten, said. “I thought we’d start negotiating and we’d have some back and forth. But that was it. He made one offer then went on social media saying that I didn’t want the fight. But I don’t think they ever really wanted to fight me anyway. They were just covering their own backs. They have been negotiating with Billy Joe for the past few weeks. I believe that I’m the tougher fight for Canelo but we’re both world champions, so we’re both tough fights for him. Good luck to Billy Joe.”
It is understood how Saunders will get something like £6 million to fight Canelo, while Smith was apparently offered a significantly smaller fee. In any case, Smith has lost out on the big fight and he is “gutted” at this, yet is now looking at facing a “big name” at 168. There are reports surfacing that suggest Smith may fight either Danny Jacobs next, or maybe Caleb Plant in a super-middleweight unification clash. Either fight would be pretty big for Smith, if not half as big as the one he says he really wanted but was never under serious consideration for.
Now, can Saunders pull the massive upset and beat Canelo? Callum Smith will be rooting for his countryman.