It appears that Canelo Alvarez may get a chance to fight this year after all.
During a time in which the middleweight king is involved in a troublesome relationship with DAZN, the platform and Golden Boy may have worked out a deal. Boxing Scene is reporting that Canelo could end up fighting in November. As far as who could face him, two original picks in Billy Joe Saunders and Callum Smith are both in play.
Canelo (53-1-2) was supposed to fight Saunders in May, but the coronavirus pandemic nixed those plans. His next scheduled date to compete was on September 12, but Saunders ended up taking his name out of the list of contenders to face him. During this time, DAZN, who paid Canelo over $365 million, requested Canelo take a pay cut due to the lack of revenue being earned in boxing. They have offered half of the $40 million per fight package that Canelo’s team has been paid for previous DAZN bouts.
Later rumored to fight Avni Yildirim for the vacant WBC Super-Middleweight TItle, DAZN would reportedly not approve the bout to take place. During his current deal with DAZN, Canelo has fought Rocky Fielding, Daniel Jacobs, and Sergey Kovalev, each fight walking out with a title. The multi-time champion last fought in November 2019, beating Kovalev for the WBO Light-Heavyweight Title.
Saunders (29-0) hasn’t fought since last November when he beat Marcelo Esteban Coceres via TKO. He won the WBO Super-Middleweight Title against Shefat Isufi and was WBO Middleweight Champion before then. The 30-year-old recently had his boxing license suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control following a controversial post he made on social media. He has since regained it following a fine. Part of the reason for backing out of the Canelo fight was due to a lack of preparation.
The current “front-runner” to face Canelo is Smith (27-0), the WBA and The Ring Super-Middleweight Champion. A British Super-Middleweight Champion, “Mundo” won the aforementioned titles in the World Boxing Super Series finals. His last bout was a unanimous decision win over John Ryder in November.
While Canelo stated he’d like to fight in December if September is off the table, DAZN prefers he fights in November.