Canelo Alvarez has his 2021 plans firmly in place: he will fight Billy Joe Saunders in May, this in an attempt to add the WBO 168 pound belt to his super-middleweight collection, then Alvarez will look to add the IBF title to his trophy cabinet. The plan is a September fight with current IBF ruler Caleb Plant. If Canelo wins both upcoming fights, he could in theory have one more fight before the end of the year, maybe in December. But Eddie Hearn, who works with both Canelo and Gennady Golovkin, doesn’t think we will be seeing a third fight between the two quite bitter rivals this year.
We fans have been patient, and we still want to see the deciding fight between the two. The draw that took place in 2017 was, in the opinion of almost everyone, a win for GGG, while the return fight that took place in 2018 was far closer, with many more fans agreeing with the decision victory that went to Canelo. So in a way, even though a good many people feel Golovkin deserved the win in each fight (this writer included among those who think so), the two are 1-1. In short, though the fight is certainly past its prime – as is Golovkin – it needs to happen. But again, Hearn, who spoke with ESPN Deportes, says it’s unlikely for this year. So who might GGG fight this year? Hearn says it could be Jaime Munguia and/or Ryota Murata.
“The focus of Canelo and Eddy [Reynoso] is to be undisputed champion, and if we were to follow that line, it goes with [Billy Joe] Saunders in May, with [Caleb] Plant in September,” Hearn said. “The [third] fight with Golovkin remains there as one great fight, but right now Canelo has history and legacy on his mind. Golovkin-[Jaime] Munguia would be a great fight, Golovkin and [Ryota] Murata could be at the end of the year, in December, so Munguia with Golovkin would be full of action, it would be a very big fight, but maybe not in May.”
Fans wonder how much GGG – who made some history of his own in his last fight when he made a record 21st world middleweight title defence – has left in the tank at almost 40, after such a hard career. Maybe Munguia, who is fresh and hungry, would be the man to end Golovkin’s reign? Instead, if Canelo, 55-1-2(37) and GGG, 41-1-1(36) both win their fights this year, we might get that third and final showdown between the two men some time in 2022. By this stage, Canelo will be 31, GGG will be 40 years of age.
Added to the advantages Canelo would enjoy is the fact that he has grown into the 168 pound division quite perfectly. Golovkin, on the other hand, is a pretty small middleweight. Canelo may well do as he says and stop Golovkin if they do fight again. Let’s see how 2021 pans out for both men. Canelo is aiming to become the very first unified, four-belt champ at super-middleweight, and most people, if not all but a very small few, think there is nobody capable of stopping him from doing it.