WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders is being lined up to face Canelo Alvarez, if the Mexican star gets past Liam Smith on September 17.

After a mooted fight with Gennady Golovkin evaporated, Saunders should box on the Canelo-Smith undercard in Las Vegas and will then target the victor in the main event.

Promoter Frank Warren told Boxing News magazine this week, “It was close [fighting Gennady Golovkin] but then the summer thing was out because of Bill being injured. After that it became a little bit difficult with the finances of it.

“But Bill will be on the undercard in Las Vegas with a view to fight the winner of Smith-Alvarez. We haven’t sorted an opponent out yet but that’s where we’re at, that’s what we’re putting together.”

Canelo stood down from potentially fighting Gennady Golovkin himself and vacated his WBC middleweight title, which has passed to “GGG”. Canelo though has been operating at a catchweight of only 155lbs, just one pound above super-welterweight, the division where Liam Smith holds the WBO title. After that fight Canelo could bounce back to middleweight, box Billy Joe Saunders and, perhaps, in the long run get on course for a unification battle with Gennady Golovkin.

Don’t miss the latest issue of Boxing News magazine for the exclusive interview with Frank Warren