- Should BJ Saunders and Callum Smith forget about Canelo Alvarez for now and fight each other in April?
Should BJ Saunders and Callum Smith forget about Canelo Alvarez for now and fight each other in April?
It's been recently reported by Chris Mannix of DAZN and Sports Illustrated that Canelo Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions are currently in "serious" negotiations for a potential event in Tokyo, Japan, opposite Ryota Murata for the Super WBA Middleweight championship, which would take place during Cinco de Mayo weekend.
While this might come as a serious shock and disappointment to many UK fight fans who were hoping to see the superstar from Mexico face either BJ Saunders or Callum Smith, it doesn't surprise an experienced promoter like Eddie Hearn.
"We haven't had one conversation about BJ fighting Canelo...we haven't had one conversation about Callum Smith fighting Canelo, and those are the two fights we would like," says Hearn. "Now Murata has come into the frame, and I think Murata is probably the front-runner, in my opinion."
Although Eddie is more than happy to play the "waiting game", if it means his fighters get a career-high payday and the opportunity to fight on the biggest stage of the sport, one gets the sense that Hearn isn't too keen on being at the mercy of any specific fighter or promoter.
"At the end of the day, you've got to be careful with what you say. You don't have to be a puppet, but at the same time, one line that you say that pisses off Canelo or Oscar De la Hoya loses you the fight."
"So right now we are at the mercy of Canelo and Oscar. They're the bosses in a 'Canelo' situation. Just like AJ, when discussing a fight with Pulev or whomever, Canelo's going to do what Canelo wants to do. "
In other words, Alvarez is, for all intents and purposes, the "prima donna" of the grand opera. He's the star with the massive contract, and he gets what he wants, or you don't get the opportunity to fight him on DAZN or anywhere else.
How nice for two hungry and talented fighters like Smith and Saunders...
When dealing with any spoiled "princess", one would be wise to adopt a different attitude or mindset...preferably one of indifference. That could potentially motivate a fighter as full of himself as Alvarez seems to be at this time.
Despite currently having the clout to dictate where, when and who he faces next, Canelo doesn't completely determine the fate of any other fighter except Canelo. Saunders and Smith should collectively show Alvarez and GBP that the show must and would definitely go on without him, by facing each other in a huge unification bout at 168 pounds.
It could, and more than likely would prove to be a much more entertaining match-up for the great fight fans of the UK.
A unification between Smith and Saunders in the interim also increases the value of the eventual winner and creates more of a demand for a massive event opposite Canelo in September of 2020.
Hearn loves the idea.
"Billy is still in the running to get the Canelo fight in May, but if he doesn't get it, we're not sitting still," claimed the managing director of Matchroom Sport to iFL TV. "There's Danny Jacobs, Demetrius Andrade, or Callum Smith for a big fight in April with Billy."
"Yeah, we have to wait for Canelo. But we can't be dumb and have no strategy if they announce Murata in a month. We won't be left holding our d**ks. We have to be ready and we have to have a plan. That's what we're putting in place for Billy Joe and Callum Smith."
"And I'd love for them to fight each other...I think it's the right fight."
Hopefully, fans get to see this brilliant match-up at Super Middleweight materialize in April on DAZN.
- BILLY JOE SAUNDERS
- BJ Saunders
- CALLUM SMITH
- EDDIE HEARN
- Matchroom Sport
- Smith vs Saunders
- Saunders vs Smith
- canelo vs saunders
- CANELO VS SMITH
- SAUL CANELO ALVAREZ
- Golden Boy
- OSCAR DE LA HOYA