British fighters in the running to face Canelo, says Gomez

Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez is pondering the options for his behind-closed-doors fight in Las Vegas on September 14 and, according to Golden Boy Promotions President Eric Gomez, there is a “very good chance” a British fighter is in the opposite corner.

That could mean WBA Super 168lbs champion Callum Smith, recent world title challenger John Ryder or even Chris Eubank Jr. who threw his hat into the ring last week.

Canelo was scheduled to face WBO super-middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders in May before the Covid-19 Pandemic halted that fight. Saunders has since declared himself unavailable for September after a busy lockdown where he found himself caring for elderly relatives. A US-based opponent would make more sense for Canelo given the visa restrictions that have been imposed worldwide after the onset of the Coronavirus, but British fighters are legitimately in the running, says Gomez.

“There is a very good chance [Canelo fights at Brit],” Gomez told Sky Sports. “There are a couple of guys we are looking at as a possibility. 

“If there is someone already here in the US? That helps. It is more difficult now because of the restrictions. The borders are not all open so it isn’t easy to bring some fighters to the US.

“It all depends on the negotiations. We are not living in the world that we lived in last year. Canelo will be taking a significant pay-cut. Anybody willing to come to the table and be reasonable, he will fight. We are not discarding any of the top guys.

“The top-ranked guys and a few champions that are out there,” he continued. “If you look at Canelo’s career, he has always wanted to fight the best and it’s no different here, he still wants to fight the best.

“But some really good fighters are available to fight Canelo in September and that’s what we are working on now. We’re talking to him and presenting different ideas for him to be able to fight in September.

“The big concern that he has is the protocols. If he fights in September, there will be no fans. We are in communication with him and soon he will make a decision – does he want to fight without fans or wait until there is some sort of normalcy again?

“Canelo is a young man in his prime years and he wants to take advantage of the fact that he can still fight at a high level. To take a year off would be very damaging in his prime. That is the motivation. He wants to keep proving that he is the best fighter in the world.”