With a date of September 14 locked in for Mexican superstar Saul Alvarez, the hunt for an acceptable dance partner continues. The 28-year-old – who recently overcame IBF middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs in Las Vegas – has been linked with a host of world-class names across several weight divisions in recent weeks. Who seems likely to secure a showdown with boxing’s biggest money generator? We assess five different avenues that Canelo could be heading down in the near future.
Jaime Munguia (33-0, 26 KO’s)
After making a series of successful WBO super welterweight World title defences in the last twelve months, could Munguia be moving up a division for a blockbuster all-Mexican showdown? The 22-year-old – who won his WBO crown back in May 2018 with a four-round demolition against Sadam Ali – has spoken of his desire to secure a big fight in the coming months.
Fernando Beltran – co-promoter of Munguia alongside Golden Boy – publicly revealed that an offer had been put forward for the 154lb champion to face boxing’s marquee name, though nothing has been agreed or signed as of yet. With Munguia fighting under the same banner as Alvarez, and seemingly keen to take the challenge, the Tijuana native is definitely a front-runner in the race to take on the unified middleweight champion.
Should Canelo pursue other avenues for September, a DAZN bout with Gennady Golovkin remains a realistic option for Munguia later in the year. Regardless of whether it happens next, however, a future meeting between the Mexican pair seems an inevitability.
Sergey Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KO’s)
Talk of a potential clash between WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev and multi-weight kingpin Saul Alvarez started to gather pace earlier in the week, with Canelo supposedly eager to try his luck against the Russian at 175lbs. Kovalev – who avenged his loss at the hands of Eleider Alvarez back in February – has been long-linked with a title defence against number one-ranked contender Anthony Yarde. After their discussed June meeting never materialised, the pair looked set to square off later in the year.
Reports suggest an offer has been made to Kovalev to face Canelo in September, however, which could leave Yarde on the sidelines with a step-aside fee to show for it. Talks remain ongoing, but if Kovalev-Canelo does not materialise, the self-proclaimed ‘Krusher’ could yet face the unbeaten Yarde on August 24 in Russia.
Demetrius Andrade (28-0, 17 KO’s)
With Saul Alvarez only one belt away from becoming undisputed champion at middleweight, could Demetrius Andrade be in his crosshairs? WBO middleweight champion Andrade also has ties with US broadcaster DAZN, and successfully defended his crown last weekend with a comprehensive points win over Maciej Sulecki in Providence.
In spite of talk of a daring trip up to light heavyweight for Canelo, the lure of crowning an undisputed 160lb champion could prove enough to get this fight made in the coming months. Andrade was quick to call out the Mexican (as well as Gennady Golovkin) following his shutout win over Sulecki, and after a stop-start few years at the top level, ‘Boo-Boo’ seems determined to secure a career-defining fight in the near future.
Gennady Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KO’s)
Trilogy, anyone? Though negotiations for a September clash appear to be strained, a third potential meeting between Saul Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin remains one of the biggest money fights in boxing. Alvarez – who many felt fortunate to get a split draw in their first encounter – claimed a majority decision victory in the rematch, in what was another ultra-competitive contest.
Golovkin has since bounced back from losing his unified middleweight crown with a 4th round knockout victory over the previously-unbeaten Steve Rolls on DAZN, and the Kazakhstan native remains determined to reach the sport’s pinnacle once again by claiming a world title. Should Jaime Munguia not secure a bout with Canelo on September 14, ‘GGG’ could face the 22-year-old before the turn of the year, ahead of a potential trilogy showdown with his long-standing Mexican rival in 2020.
Callum Smith (26-0, 19 KO’s)
Also in the hunt for a marquee fight is Liverpool’s WBA super middleweight champion Callum Smith. Having dethroned George Groves to win the World Boxing Super Series back in September, Smith has since defended his world title against Hassan N’Dam on the Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz bill in New York. The 29-year-old Smith dropped his opponent in each session en route to an impressive 3rd round stoppage victory.
Smith – as well as coach Joe Gallagher – have publicly spoken of their desire to face Saul Alvarez following the N’Dam win, with the Merseyside man on the hunt for a big-money showdown. ‘Mundo’ confirmed he had received an offer to face newly-crowned WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders in an all-English affair, though his priority remains securing a lucrative clash with the 28-year-old Canelo.