There’s a great deal of interest from fans in which fighter Canelo Alvarez will be taking on next: Billy Joe Saunders or Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin. It’s important that the first fight Canelo takes after the coronavirus pandemic ends is against a fighter that U.S boxing fans want to see him fight.
Canelo vs. Saunders: Is this a cherry-pick?
You got to figure that the very first fight that takes place after the pandemic will have a massive amount of fans eager to watch it. Golovkin checks all the boxes for what fans want to see in an opponent for Canelo. GGG is someone that fans would expect to give Canelo a tough fight, and maybe even beat him depending on where the fight takes place.
Saunders would be viewed by fans as having very little chance of beating Canelo, and that would displease the fans. It’s bad enough that 2 out of the 3 fights that Canelo has had in his DAZN contract so far have been mismatches against Sergey Kovalev and Rocky Fielding. Throwing Saunders into the mix would make for a likely third mismatch, and that would look too much like a cherry-pick for Canelo.
Canelo was originally supposed to be fighting WBO super middleweight champion Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) in a unification fight on May 2, but the fight was never announced.
They were going to announce for June, but that doesn’t seem likely due to the coronavirus having shutdown Canelo’s favorite fighting city Las Vegas, Nevada. Poor Saunders has been waiting for the fight with Canelo forever, and now he could find himself having been aced out of the fight due to the coronavirus positioning it into oblivion.
Canelo-Saunders must take place by July
If Saunders still hasn’t fought Canelo by July, the Mexican star will need to move on and go straight into the more lucrative trilogy match against Golovkin in September.
The problem that Saunders has is Canelo already has an agreement to fight IBF middleweight champion Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) on September 12 in Arlington, Texas. That’s not only a fight that the boxing public wants to see, it’s one that DAZN desires most of all. Canelo vs. Golovkin 3 is the prize gem that DAZN wants/needs to take place in order to bring in the subscribers to make the streaming service money.
DAZN is paying Canelo AND Golovkin gads of money with the huge contracts that they gave the two fighters, and so far they haven’t gotten the big fights from either of them. Since signing a huge 11-fight, $365 million contract with DAZN, Canelo has fought Rocky Fielding, Daniel Jacobs, and Sergey Kovalev.
Of those three, only Jacobs had enough talent to make it interesting against Canelo. Fielding looked like an amateur fighter that had no business sharing the ring with Canelo in their fight in December 2018. And Kovalev looked completely over-the-hill, and he fought in a STRANGE way that gave some boxing fans the impression that he took it easy on Canelo.
Saunders would be a good opponent for Canelo in 2021
There’s a time and a place for Canelo to fight Saunders, and this doesn’t seem like the right moment. With boxing fans wanting to see Canelo fighting a good opponent to make them forget his horrible fight against Kovalev, Saunders would be like throwing fuel on the fire. If the goal is to turn away fans, then Canelo will succeed at doing that if he faces another over-matched opponent.
There are already a lot of fans that think Canelo ducked IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev when he chose not to challenge him for his two titles instead of taking the past his prime Kovalev. Moreover, Canelo’s decision to vacate his WBO 175-lb title rather than facing Beterbiev further entrenched the beliefs some boxing fans have that Canelo didn’t want any part of the powerful Russian fighter.