Promoter Eddie Hearn says that the ‘path is clear’ for WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders to take on unified king Canelo Alvarez on Cinco de Mayo weekend.

Canelo, who looks set for a two-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing, is expected to face WBC mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim in February with Saunders now a likely foe for the Mexican star in May. 

The pair had previously agreed to fight in 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic scuppered those plans, leaving Saunders to defend his title against Martin Murray and Canelo to conquer Callum Smith.

“The path is really clear for Billy Joe Saunders to fight Canelo Alvarez,” Hearn told The Athletic’s Pug and Copp Podcast. “We’ve just got to try and agree a deal with him to do that.

“We are at a stage now where we don’t have the guarantees of the major gates and a lot of fighters are taking less money. That’s not really a conversation that you enjoy having with Billy Joe Saunders.

“He feels that he can win the fight, but he also wants to be rewarded for the fight, I understand. So we’ve got to try and reach a deal with him, which we’re close to doing.”

“He really needs that fight too, but he’s not just gonna take it by any means necessary. But if Billy believes he wins that fight, which I believe he thinks he does, and I think he’s got a great shot in the fight, then he needs to take the opportunity.

“Hopefully we can get him over the line for that fight on Cinco de Mayo weekend.”