CANELO ALVAREZ is the ‘king in the sport right now’ as Golden Boy president Eric Gomez cheerfully tells us. He is the most highly paid fighter in the world he can choose essentially whom to fight and when he wants to fight them.
We know that he will next fight in September, over the Mexican Independence weekend. That is now his date. But he must decide who will make for the best opponent. Here we weigh up Canelo’s options.
The Kazakh warrior is Canelo’s greatest rival. They have shared two close, contentious bouts that finished with Alvarez relieving Golovkin of his world titles. As far the Mexican is concerned they have no unfinished business. But whatever they say, a conclusive win one way or another would close that chapter and assure the victor’s legacy. “GGG” would certainly be the most lucrative option commercially too.
2. Demetrius Andrade
Andrade holds the key. He is the WBO middleweight champion and if Alvarez is going to become undisputed he will need to win that belt. Andrade defends against Maciej Sulecki on Saturday June 29 at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Rhode Island, Providence. Win that and a path towards Canelo will open up. But a September fight however might be too soon to prepare if Sulecki does give him a hard fight.
3. Callum Smith
Canelo’s team have said they like the idea of coming to England to fight Callum Smith, the world’s leading super-middleweight, at Wembley Stadium. It’s unlikely that could happen in the near future without Smith building his profile further but he would be a very credible opponent. Technically sound and about as tall and rangy an opponent as Canelo could find.
4. Jermall Charlo
Charlo is a WBC ‘Interim’ titlist at middleweight. Whether you consider him a champion or not, he is a viable contender. It’s unlikely though that Premier Boxing Champions would let him perform on a rival promotion or that the WBC are going to inflict him on Canelo as a mandatory challenger any time soon.
5. John Ryder
Alvarez did venture up to super-middleweight to collect a ‘regular’ WBA title when he easily defeated Rocky Fielding in December. He might fancy doing the same against ‘Interim’ belt holder John Ryder who has looked exciting over the course of his recent run of victories.