De La Hoya giving Callum Smith & Saunders until Monday to agree to Canelo offer

By Tim Compton - 02/15/2020 - Comments

Oscar De La Hoya has given Matchroom Sport and their super middleweight champions Billy Joe Saunders and Callum Smith a deadline of Monday to agree to the deal offered to them for a May 2 fight against Canelo Alvarez or else he’s moving on.

Oscar has got 4 other fighters that he’s dealing with to fill the spot to face Canelo on May 2, and he’s going to swiftly move to sign one of them. De La Hoya has to get Canelo’s deal done for his May 2 opponent right away, as they’ve got to start promoting the fight.

“Nobody wants to fight Canelo. They’re all afraid of him,” said De La Hoya. “I’ve offered BJ Saunders the fight, and he’s balking at it. And I’ve offered Callum Smith the fight, and he’s balking at it. I’ve got 4 other guys that I’m negotiating with, and can talk to,” said De La Hoya.

You can see what De La Hoya is up against, can’t you? Hearn, Saunders and Smith are likely holding out for $12 million paydays similar to what ‘Krusher’ Sergey Kovalev and Danny Jacobs both got in facing the popular Mexican. However, there’s a world of difference between those guys and Saunders and Callum.

No one knows who those guys are in America except for the dedicated fans, even those guys aren’t particularly fond of them. Saunder is a runner, and Callum has faced no one during his career except George Groves coming off of a terrible shoulder injury.

Unfortunately for Saunders and Smith, the 4 other options that De La Hoya has are likely guys that U.S fans are familiar with and want to see Canelo fight. IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant is one of the names has been leaked as the third option for Canelo.

The American boxing fans are excited about the possibility of Canelof fighting him. If the other 3 possible options are as interesting as Plant, Canelo will have an excellent opponent facing him on May 2 on DAZN.

Hearn needs to take De La Hoya’s deadline talk seriously

De La Hoya says his offer was 3 to 4 times more than what Saunders and Smith have ever received for one of their fights.

If Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn ignores the deadline of Monday that De La Hoya has given him, his fighters Callum or Saunders could wind up missing out on a career payday opportunity. There’s no telling whether Canelo will ever look their way again. Canelo is the face of boxing right now, and he’s not likely to revisit the negotiations with Saunders and Smith.

Unfortunately for Saunders and Smith, they’re not even popular in England. For Hearn to be assuming that they deserve similar money as Jacobs and Kovalev, it shows that he doesn’t understand how little they matter to U.S fans.

It would be nice if Callum and Saunders were household names in the States, but the fact of the matter is, no one has heard of them other the hardcore boxing fans. Those fans would prefer to see Canelo take on guys like Artur Beterbiev, Jaime Munguia, the Charlo twins, Jarrett Hurd, Dmitry Bivol or Oleksandr Gvozdyk.

De La Hoya gives Saunders and Smith Monday DEADLINE

“If you guys don’t take it, then we’re moving on to somebody else, but he will fight in May,” said De La Hoya about Canelo Alvarez. “Time is running out. I have until Sunday, tomorrow [Saturday] or Monday at the latest or else I’m moving on,” said De La Hoya.

Hearn says DAZN approved Saunders and Smith as opponents for Canelo. But that still doesn’t make them great choices for Canelo to fight, given that neither of them are well known to the U.S general public. There are a lot of other excellent choices that Golden Boy can find if Saunders and Callum choose not to back away from their asking price.

Saunders and Smith’s promoter Hearn rejected the initial offer that was given by Golden Boy to those fighters. Hearn pointed out that Canelo’s last two opponents Daniel Jacobs and Sergey Kovalev got top dollar to face him, and he believes that’s the going rate now to fight him. Kovalev and Jacobs both got $12 million.

Hearn didn’t say what precisely those two are asking for before they’ll agree to taking the fight with Canelo, but you’d have to believe that it’s close to the $12 million that Jacobs and Kovalev both got last year in fighting the Mexican star.

It’s believed that IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant is one of the fighters that De La Hoya will look to setup a fight with Canelo with on May 2 if Callum or Saunders fail to agree to the money offered to them.

De La Hoya told DAZN last Friday night that he has “four other guys” that he’ll look to negotiate with for a fight against Canelo (53-1-1, 36 KOs) if WBO 168lb champion Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) or WBA champ Callum (27-0, 19 KOs) don’t agree to the offer that’s been made to them by Monday at the latest.

The problem with Hearn Callum and Saunders looking to get the same money as Jacobs and Kovalev received for a fight with Canelo is the fact that neither of them has ever fought in the United States before. Moreover, Saunder and Callum aren’t even popular in the UK.

The only thing that Saunders and Smith have going for them is they hold world titles, and they’re unbeaten. Aside from that, they’re just belt holders, and no names as far as the casual boxing fans go in the U.S. Canelo has very little to gain in fighting Saunders and Smith other than their belts. Canelo has so little to gain in fighting those two guys.

You can argue that they probably wouldn’t be worth more than one-fourth of what Kovalev and Jacobs got to fight Canelo. Even $3 million would be a lot for beltholders that the casual boxing fans have never heard of in the U.S, and don’t care about. For all intents and purposes, Callum Smith and BJ Saunders are in the same position as Rocky Fielding. U.S fans didn’t get excited when Canelo fought Fielding, and they probably won’t be if he faces Saunders or Callum.

Hearn has already rejected the offer made to him by Golden Boy for Smith or Saunders to face Canelo on May 2. He’s expecting Golden Boy to increase the offer to both of those fighters. De La Hoya is sounding like the offer that he made is a final one, and that his Monday deadline is a line in the sand.


Last Updated on 02/15/2020