Canelo Alvarez: Next fight options, win or lose tonight
Who would have envisioned this match-up a few years ago?
Alvarez, currently a middleweight champion who made a name for himself as a super welterweight, is jumping two divisions to face the world's most accomplished active light heavyweight.
Canelo vs Kovalev is one of the biggest fights of the year and might have a tremendous impact on the landscape of both divisions.
If you're reading this post Canelo vs Kovalev you're probably wondering who Canelo will fight next. After all, Sergey Kovalev was a big surprise as many of us expected to see Canelo vs Gennady Golovkin 3.
Canelo Alvarez: Next fight options
Thanks to Canelo's mammoth contract with DAZN, Alvarez is earning between $30 and $35 Million per fight. As a result, DAZN will require him to face legitimately elite opponents in the most intriguing affairs possible. And yes, Canelo vs Kovalev intrigues due to the fighters' size difference and Sergey's experience and KO power.
Result: Canelo losses handily / Kovalev wins solidly but doesn't dominate
Should this happen, not all would be lost as Team Canelo will insist there's no shame in its man losing to a much bigger champion. Moreover, DAZN might cut Alvarez some slack and allow him to face a less marque name in order to rebuild his aura.
WBA Regular Middleweight Champion
15-2, 12 KO
DAZN may look at Japan's Ryota Murata, the WBA's top middleweight sans Canelo, as a next fight option should Alvarez lose mightily tonight. He's never been KO'd and has defeated every opponent he's faced, avenging losses to Rob Brant and Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam with rematch stoppages.
DAZN might see Canelo vs Murata as an opportunity to have Alvarez look great again while attempting to get the company a stronger foothold in Japan.
WBA Super Welterweight Champion
26-2-2, 15 KO
How about a voluntary rematch with foe Erislandy Lara who some say got the better of Canelo in 2014? Lara has slipped since that bout so Alvarez would be a huge favorite. Moreover, the controversy from their fight could create an interesting storyline not to mention Lara just knocked the crap out of Canelo's brother.
IBF Super Middleweight Champion
19-0, 11 KO
He lacks name recognition but is exciting and unbeaten, and has a belt and a story. What he doesn't have, at least not yet, are the skills to defeat Canelo. But Plant would make for an exciting affair. Blue collar and likable, Plant graduated from the 'School of Hard Knocks' and has a compelling life story. For instance, his parents couldn’t afford a crib when he was born so they used a dresser drawer.
21-0, 5 KO
The WBC's No. 2 contender, Kamil Szeremeta is 21-0 but with only 5 KOs. Fighting out of Poland, he doesn't doesn't own the most impressive resume of foes but he's unbeaten and ranked highly. He'd be a longshot.
Result: Draw / Canelo or Kovalev win narrowly or controversially
The most unlikely result is a gift decision for Sergey but he'll be the defending champion tonight so 2 or 3 judges might give him the benefit of the doubt in close rounds.
If Canelo vs Kovalev is explosive, a rematch would certainly be on the table regardless of the winner. After all, what are the odds of Kovalev defeating Canelo twice if tonight's bout is close? In the event it's a great fight, Team Canelo would retool between fights and appease DAZN by accepting a rematch, especially if Alvarez comes up a bi short this evening.
Should Canelo vs Kovalev be very close but a snoozer, don't expect Alvarez to face Demetrius Andrade or Billy Joe Saunders next because those their styles aren't amenable to casual fans.
IBF Super Middleweight Champion
19-0, 11 KO
Yes, here he is again. But he has a belt and is respected by hardcore fans. Moreover, he would be a somewhat safe opponent who would engage with Canelo and give fans an exciting fight. Plant wouldn't be atop the list for Canelo's next options but he's likely to be on it.
Result: Canelo crushes the Krusher or wins handily
With a solid win tonight, Canelo can enhance his already-high stock by defeating today's most accomplished light heavyweight champion.
Billy Joe Saunders
WBO Super Middleweight Champion
28-0, 13 KO
The British WBO Super Middleweight Champion would also be an option. And yes, Saunders can be obnoxious so Canelo vs Billy Joe would get a lot of press. And sure, Canelo would be favored over the tactical, southpaw Saunders but would risk being outboxed by the Brit. And in victory, Canelo could have some difficulty looking good against this guy.
But Canelo, with his head movement, quickness and defense could also look great in dominating Saunders and earn a second title at middleweight. Let's face it, Saunders's level of opposition is nowhere near Canelo's. Alvarez would be a huge step up for Saunders and the latter might not be prepared.
28-0, 18 KO
WBO Middleweight Champion
The unbeaten WBO Middleweight Champion would be an option for Team Alvarez given Canelo will have proven he could handle taller, rangier experienced foes (Daniel Jacobs and Sergey Kovalev). But Andrade is a slippery southpaw and would be hard to find for any middleweight. And should Andrade be successful in making it a technical affair, Alvarez certainly is not going to outbox Andrade. But, Team Canelo may reluctantly accept the Andrade's challenge.
29-0, 21 KO
And let's not forget about Charlo who is also unbeaten. Charlo is not a southpaw so Team Canelo might see him as the better option versus Andrade. Moreover, although not known well by casual fans, Jermal is well-respected by the sport's hardcore junkies. Canelo vs Charlo intrigues.
IBF Middleweight Champion
40-1-1, 35 KO
Of course, this is the fight the public wants most, Canelo vs Golovkin 3. And DAZN knows that.
Let's not forget, some believe GGG deserved the nod in both of their previous bouts; especially the first. But if Canelo looks good tonight, it may give his handlers enough confidence to make Canelo vs GGG 3 next.
And given Golovkin looked all too human last month against Sergiy Derevyanchenko, a trilogy is more likely now than ever.
Let's also not forget, Golovkin is also with a new trainer and wouldn't be working with the wise sage Abel Sanchez. Moreover, he's now his own promoter and has had some internal drama the past year as it relates to his training and business matters. And, of course, GGG also turns 38 in April. He could be ripe for the taking.
If you're reading this post Canelo vs Kovalev, who do you think Alvarez should fight next?