Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn is giving one more try to piece together a fight between super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunder and Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez for September 12.
Hearn contacted Golden Boy Promotions this week to give them a heads up that Billy Joe still wants the fight with Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) in September. From there, it’s up to Golden Boy if they’re going to revisit the negotiations for a Canelo vs. Saunders fight. Before the pandemic, Canelo-Saunders were in talks for a unification bout at 168 for May 2 on DAZN.
It was Saunders’ bad luck that the pandemic ruined his dream fight to face the famous Canelo Alvarez.
If that fight can’t happen due to the financial aspects, Hearn has three options on the table that he plans on looking at to replace Canelo for Billy Joe to fight in 2020. Hearn told IFL TV on Friday that he’s got three great options for Saunders to fight if he’s unable to get Alvarez.
Hearn’s three Plan-B options for Saunders:
- Callum Smith – WBA 168-pound champion
- Demetrius Andrade
- Chris Eubank, Jr.
Hearn admits that his own Matchroom Boxing fighters Callum Smith (27-0, 19 KOs) and Demetrius Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs) are at the top two spots on the list. He wants WBO super middleweight champion Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs), who he also promotes with Matchroom, to take on the 30-year-old Callum.
Saunders vs. Callum is easily the biggest money fight of the three, as long as crowds are allowed back into stadiums later this year. Callum is capable of bringing in a lot of fans for his Liverpool fights, and a match between him and Saunders would be colossal in the UK.
It’s still farfetched that Callum Smith will agree to face Saunders during the pandemic if the money isn’t substantial. Callum didn’t accept the money offer from Canelo Alvarez. If he wasn’t willing to take that offer, then it’s impossible to see Callum agreeing to a proposal to face Saunders without a crowd or with a small audience.
Hearn has got to know that it won’t be easy for him to sign any of the three plan-B options he has on his list to face Saunders. It’s not that these three wouldn’t want to meet Billy Joe.
It’s a bad time to face him during the pandemic, with the fight likely to bring in less revenue than during regular times. The three guys should wait it out until the future when the virus is gone before facing Billy Joe.
Getting Demetrius Andrade to take the fight with Saunders behind closed doors may be impossible unless he’s paid a lot of money. Andrade can make more money if he waits to fight Saunders with a full crowd in 2021 or 2022, whenever a vaccine if produced to eradicate the virus.
Eubank Jr (29-2, 22 KOs) would be a good fight for Saunders if it can get made. Hearn says it’s perfect for Sky Box Office. Just the banter alone heading into the contest would make it a massive clash.
Saunders beat Eubank Jr by a 12 round split decision six years ago in December 2014 in a fight that could have lost had junior messed around in the first six rounds. Eubank Jr did a lot of posing after throwing single punches in the first half of the fight, and he didn’t attack with his standard combination punching during that part of the match.
When Eubank Jr did go on the attack in the last six rounds, he had Saunders on the run and looking like the beaten man. Unfortunately for Eubank, he gave away too many early rounds to get the victory.
In a rematch, Eubank Jr would have an excellent chance of beating Saunders in a one-sided match if he took the fight to him the entire time, and didn’t waste time with posing after throwing single shots. With Eubank’s new trainer Roy Jones Jr, he wouldn’t make the same mistakes as he did last time he fought Saunders.