Right after he made boxing history by stopping the naturally bigger Sergey Kovalev up at light-heavyweight, quickly began wondering what Canelo Alvarez’ next move would be. Would the Mexican star stay at 175, drop back down to middleweight, or even go up to cruiserweight (yes, Canelo, perhaps with his tongue placed firmly inside his cheek, said that this was a possibility)?
Nothing has yet been confirmed but insider Mike Coppinger, who has broken many a big news story, suggests Canelo may return to the 168 pound division for his next fight; where the flame-haired warrior has fought once before, briefly, in stopping Brit Rocky Fielding with ease last December to win a version of the WBA super-middleweight title.
As per Coppinger’s tweet:
“Sources: Canelo Alvarez’s next fight could take place at 168 pounds and the two names being considered are Billy Joe Saunders and Callum Smith. Each man holds a super middleweight title; Alvarez holds a secondary title at ’68 and can become a full-fledged four division champ with a win.”
As fans know, both Saunders, the WBO champ at 168, and Smith, the WBA ruler, have been calling for a big fight with Canelo for some time; Saunders especially. Both men are undefeated and both have fine skills. Last time out, though, both men looked quite poor: Smith laboring to a close and controversial decision over John Ryder, Saunders pulling out a late KO over Marcelo Coerces when trailing on the cards. Has the fact that Smith and Saunders struggled had anything to do with Canelo looking at them as his potential next fight? Some people may say so.
Either match-up would prove interesting. Saunders, when he’s on his A-game (see his brilliant win over the dangerous David Lemieux), is a slick boxing handful for absolutely anyone. Smith, when he’s at his best (see his stoppage win over George Groves), is as strong and poweful and he is clever. Either man would enter a fight with Canelo as an underdog, but there sure would be a lot of fan interest.
It would be a massive event for British boxing if Canelo agreed to fight either Smith or Saunders in the UK. This might seem doubtful but Canelo and Oscar De La Hoya have spoken about this possibility in the past. Canelo against either British belt-holder would likely sell out any big stadium in the UK.
We await Canelo’s next move with great interest.