Boxing News At Five

Boxing News at Five: Andrade emerges as frontrunner for Alvarez date, Khan says his future lies in Saudi Arabia

Billy Joe Saunders
Canelo Alvarez could face WBO champion Demetrius Andrade on September 14, and Amir Khan sounds happy to see out his career in Saudi Arabia

GIVEN he is perhaps the biggest name in the sport today, it should come as no surprise that Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez has a multitude of options for his next fight on September 14.

In recent weeks there has been talk of potential fights against Callum Smith, the WBA super-middleweight champion, Sergey Kovalev, the WBO light-heavyweight champion and Jaime Munguia, the WBO super-welterweight champion. Now the latest name in the frame is WBO middleweight king Demetrius Andrade.

Alvarez, the current world middleweight champion and WBA ‘regular’ super-middleweight champion, can essentially cherry-pick whoever he fancies fighting (whoever he deems worthy of blessing with a life-changing payday), but would appear to be keener on Andrade, the champion in his current weight class, than the rest.

“Yes, I had a conversation with Eddie. I’ve had conversations with a few people about opponents. There are a few options out there for Canelo,” Eric Gomez of Golden Boy Promotions told ESPN. “We’re checking out everything. Canelo has a few options and we’re exploring all of the options and will make a decision soon.”

When asked about Andrade, Gomez confirmed the American was a “viable opponent” and said that Alvarez’s trainer Eddy and Chepo Reynoso had watched his fight against Maciej Sulecki on Saturday (June 30) and green lit the pursuit of him as a potential opponent. To make the job even easier, both Alvarez and Andrade are aligned with DAZN, the US sports streaming service. “There’s interest,” Gomez said.

Until last week Andrade held one of the four middleweight titles and Canelo possessed the other three. That was before the WBC in their infinite wisdom decided to strip the Mexican of his WBC title in order to upgrade Jermall Charlo from interim champion to full champion and elevate Alvarez to something called “franchise champion”. Though both pointless and ludicrous, it’s unlikely Demetrius Andrade, when on the verge of a cash windfall, cares whether there are three or four belts on the line in any potential Canelo matchup.

Canelo Alvarez next fight
Canelo is not short of silverware (Tom Hogan/Hogan photos/Golden Boy)

According to Amir Khan, the future is bright, the future is Saudi.

Khan, now 32, recently challenged WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford in Madison Square Garden, New York, but admits his future fights will likely take place in Saudi Arabia, the country in which he will box Billy Dib next Friday (July 12).

The two-time world champion meets Dib, a former featherweight titleholder, at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah and the aim, should he win, is to bring a number of bigger fights to the Kingdom.

“I have options to fight in America, England and Europe, but I came to Saudi because I know the future is here,” Khan told an MBC 1 show hosted by Himli Nattu. “I have to think about the future, and that is the reason I am now in Saudi Arabia.

“I have spent over two weeks here already, and I have to say it is one of my favourite countries.

“The Kingdom is so peaceful, and Makkah is around the corner, so I went there to do my prayers.”

Top of the Khan hitlist is a Middle East matchup against former Wild Card gym mate and eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao, who meets Keith Thurman, the WBA welterweight titleholder, on July 20 in Las Vegas. Seemingly Khan likes the idea of adding a welterweight title to the super-lightweight belts he won in 2009 and 2011, but, more than that, he likes the idea of banking a ‘PacMan’ paycheck.

Amir Khan
Amir Khan is hungry for some Saudi Arabian nights (Action Images/Andrew Couldridge)

Boxing news – Newsletter

Current Issue