Eddie Hearn: Canelo should fight Bivol, Joe Smith and Beterbiev in 2022

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn wants Canelo Alvarez to quickly face three 175-lb champions in 2022 to become the undisputed champ within 12 months next year, as he did at 168 in 2021.

The champions Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) will need to face next year are these guys at 175:

  • Artur Beterbiev – IBF & WBC
  • Dmitry Bivol – WBA
  • Joe Smith Jr. – WBO

Canelo should focus on 175-lb division

“December 18th, 2020, he fought Callum Smith, and we then did a deal for a quick mandatory against [Avni] Yildirim and then fought Billy Joe Saunders in May, and then he went and fought Caleb Plant in November. Unbelievable, during a pandemic,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV on Canelo’s busy schedule in the last 12 months.

Artur Beterbiev, Canelo Alvarez, Dmitry Bivol, Joe Smith Jr. boxing image / photo

“We got to promote three of those four fights, which was a blessing and an honor, and hopefully we can work together again,” said Hearn about Canelo.

“I know there’s talk of the cruiserweight fight [between Canelo and WBC champion Ilunga Makabu. I just think that he [Alvarez] should do exactly the same as he did at 168 at 175.

He should fight [Dmitry] Bivol, Joe Smith and [Artur] Beterbiev, and I think he can do it all in a year AGAIN,” said Hearn on wanting Canelo to fight those three champions at 175 in 2022 to become the undisputed champion.

If Canelo and his trainer/manager Eddy Reynoso care about what boxing fans think, they need to listen to what Hearn tells them about his preference for Alvarez to take on the three 175-pound champions in 2022.

That’s a far more worthy goal for Canelo than going up to cruiserweight to defeat the weakest link in Makabu.

Becoming a 2-time undisputed would be legendary

If Canelo were to listen to Hearn and beat all the 175-lb champions in 2022, it would make him a two-tine undisputed champion.

That would be an incredible achievement that no one would match for a long, long time.

If Canelo wants to be remembered in the record books, becoming undisputed at 175 would be more memorable than winning his fifth division world title by defeating WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu.

“He’s already a great, he’s already a legend, but there’s some more history,” said Hearn. “Saul and [trainer/manager] Eddy [Reynoso] are about creating history, and that is unbelievable history to be undisputed at 168 and be undisputed at 175.

“You go down as one of the greatest of all time. I spoke to Eddy Reynoso last night, and obviously, we will provide our options, as will everybody else. Those guys [Canelo and Reynoso] will get together in early January and make a decision,” said Hearn.

It might take some convincing on Hearn’s part to talk Reynoso and Canelo into putting off their goal of going up to cruiserweight for the fight against Ilunga Makabu.

It’s unknown whether Reynoso and Canelo truly believe that by winning a fifth division world title that future generations of boxing fans will be impressed with this.

You can argue that fans from the future will be more awed by learning that Canelo beat Artur Beterbiev more than becoming undisputed or winning a fifth division title.

When fans look at the records of Tommy Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Robert Duran, they focus on the great fights that they had, not on how many division world titles they won.

Canelo can cement his legacy by beating these fighters:

  • David Benavidez
  • Demetrius Andrade
  • Artur Beterbiev
  • Joe Smith Jr.
  • Dmitry Bivol
  • Gennady Golovkin – outside of Nevada
  • David Morrell Jr

“To be honest with you, I’m happy to be a cheerleader for Canelo,” said Hearn. “I think he’s brilliant. Forget about being a promoter. Whatever you want to call it, a fan, friend,w whatever you want to call me.

“Being around greatness is a blessing because it’s inspirational. I don’t want to sound like a fanboy, but if you can’t get inspired by people like that, what can you get inspired by?

“Everyone wants to be great in their field, and he is one, so he sets the bar. So have some of that,” said Hearn about Canelo Alvarez.