Oscar De La Hoya is of course confident his fighter, Mexican superstar Saul Canelo Alvarez will emerge victorious in his upcoming 154-pound WBO title challenge of a very live underdog indeed in Liam Smith, and Oscar has laid out his plans for Canelo for after the September 17 figh. Speaking with HBO in a piece to promote the Smith fight in Texas, De La Hoya said Alvarez will continue his ascension to the middleweight division he says he will move up to on a full time basis only when his body is ready.
“We envision Canelo doing a third fight in 2016 either at or close to the middleweight limit and then a fight on Cinco de Mayo at 160 before facing Golovkin in the fall. I know Canelo-Golovkin is the biggest fight to make; the fighters know it’s the biggest fight to make and the fans know it’s the biggest fight to make. I have been clear that Canelo will fight Golovkin at 160-pounds and we have a verbal agreement to do it in the fall of 2017. But in the meantime, Canelo is going to build up to being a true middleweight.”
After all that’s gone on, with all the posturing and the length of time fans have already been waiting for this middleweight mega-fight, it would be a real shame if GGG-Canelo did not happen. De La Hoya’s plan is a good one, but will it come off as he says? 12 Months is a long, long time in the sport of boxing, and a lot of things could happen between now and then.
Right now, two British fighters – Smith and Kell Brook, who of course everyone knows faces GGG this Saturday night – stand in the way and if either guy (or both) got a win, they would possibly ruin a GGG-Canelo showdown. If either Canelo or GGG lost before next September, would the fight still happen at all; would it still be a super-fight?
Canelo insists he needs time to fully grow into a genuine middleweight, and as fans wait for him to get there, there runs the risk of the fight we all want to see being derailed. As to who Canelo may fight later this year and next May (assuming he defeats Smith), fans crave the big fights and the big match-ups. In an ideal world, wouldn’t it be great if Canelo and GGG fought on Cinco de Mayo weekend next year? Now that would be big! And surely Canelo would be big enough himself by then.