Eddie Hearn feels that either Billy Joe Saunders or Callum Smith will be the next opponent for Canelo Alvarez on May 2nd.
“Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders obviously both want the Canelo Alvarez fight,” Hearn told IFL TV (Transcribed by Boxing Scene). “And they’re ready to go. But if neither of them gets it, they should unify against each other immediately.”
Saunders and Smith both hold gold at 168-pounds, Smith holding the “super” version of the WBA crown held by Alvarez, while Saunders reigns as the WBO super middleweight champion.
While both hold gold in the same weight as Alvarez, they may not be in Alvarez’s line of fire due to subpar performances against Marcelo Coceres and John Ryder respectively.
“When you look at Callum, very close fight with John Ryder,” Hearn said. “I think he’s at the stage in his career now where he needs those big tests and those fights that are really gonna get him motivated. I feel that Billy Joe is in exactly the same boat. Went to America, actually I had him losing that fight. I think he was behind on one card and up on two. It was very, very close. Put together a brilliant knockout to get Coceres out of there. If he would’ve gone through that fight and won on points in a close fight, it would’ve been a real kick in the nuts. He come through with a great knockout.
“And Billy and Callum, you know, I said to [trainer] Joe Gallagher the other day, I said to MTK [Global] the other day, ‘Just to let you know, I’m offering these guys to Canelo. So, whatever they come back with, I’m gonna be completely honest with you guys. There’s no, you know, matching one up against the other, then playing one off against the other. I’ll be totally up front.’ ”
“Basically, you’re on the end of a phone, waiting for the golden call, to tell you who Canelo wants to fight you next,” Hearn said. “And if he doesn’t fight one of those guys next, then they should fight each other, and they should unify. But I believe [Canelo] will [fight Saunders or Smith]. So, the answer is, what does the other person do?
“If you’re Billy Joe Saunders, do you go and try to get a unification fight with Caleb Plant or David Benavidez? For me, if the Callum Smith or the Canelo fight wasn’t there, I’d probably rather see him drop down to 160 and fight Demetrius Andrade in what would be a big fight in America as well. There’s other fights out there for him. There’s the Gennadiy Golovkin fight at 168 as well.”