Seven next opponents for Canelo Alvarez after Callum Smith win including KO king Artur Beterbiev and Billy Joe Saunders

7 mins read


CANELO ALVAREZ is the man with many options as he sits on the pound-for-pound throne.

The Mexican superstar cemented himself as a fully-fledged four-division champion having taken Callum Smith’s WBA super-middleweight crown.

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Mexican Canelo is the man with many options[/caption]

It came two years after he beat another Brit in Rocky Fielding, but only winning the secondary ‘Regular’ title.

Canelo returned after 13 months out, having not fought since he stepped up to light-heavyweight, knocking out Sergey Kovalev for the WBO belt.

But he since vacated that strap, and still holds two titles at middleweight, meaning Alvarez is the man to beat from 160lb up to 175lb.

Here SunSport explores his future opponents.

Gennady Golovkin, IBF middleweight champion

The former middleweight rivals still have unfinished business after the pair of 12-round thrillers – which first ended in a draw then a Canelo win.

GGG feels he won BOTH and has the backing of several others sharing that view, as Eddie Hearn confirmed the Kazakh wants one more shot at his rival.

Hearn said: “We saw two tremendous fights first time up, he believes he should have won those fights. And I think he wants another crack at Canelo Alvarez.”

But with Canelo appearing settled at super-middleweight, GGG, for the first time in his career, may have to step up from middleweight to complete the trilogy.

AP:Associated Press

Gennady Golovkin fancies another crack at Canelo [/caption]

Billy Joe Saunders, WBO super-middleweight champion

Two-division champion Saunders had a guaranteed shot at Canelo finalised this summer until the coronavirus pandemic KO’d the fight.

But the slick southpaw could have his chances of fighting Alvarez revived after the unified champion revealed plans to unify the division.

And promoter Hearn has backed Saunders to defend his WBO belt against Canelo in their very next outings.

He told BBC Sport: “I think he’s going to want to pick up the other belts in the division. I think he’ll go for Billy next.”

©Dave Thompson/Route One Ltd

Billy Joe Saunders wanted to fight Canelo [/caption]

Caleb Plant, IBF super-middleweight champion

Plant was another considered for Canelo’s sole 2020 fight, but as Smith was the division’s No1, he got the nod.

The American has an IBF belt to bring to the table as well as a 20-0 undefeated record to temp Alvarez into breaking.

He returns to the ring on January against Caleb Truax, and Canelo’s trainer Eddy Reynoso admitted they are interested in fighting Plant next year.

Reynoso told Boxing Social: “We want Billy Joe Saunders or Caleb Plant to unify in the unification of the 168 pounds.”

Getty – Contributor

Caleb Plant has the IBF belt to offer Canelo [/caption]

Avni Yildirim, WBC mandatory

Yildrim was also considered by Canelo, due to his status as mandatory challenger.

And his ranking means Alvarez is mostly likely going to have to face the Turk NEXT.

Canelo has 90 days to defend his WBC belt against Yildirim, and Reynoso hinted it could happen in Mexico.

As Alvarez is desperate to unify the belts at 168lb he is unable to overlook Yildirim, despite having more lucrative options elsewhere.

DAZN Dismisses Yildirim As Canelo's Next Opponent - Sada El balad
Avni Yildirim, pictured with Canelo after sparring, is WBC mandatory

Jermall Charlo, WBC middleweight champion

Unbeaten Charlo won the WBC title after Canelo was elevated to the controversial and unpopular ‘Franchise’ status.

The American, unbeaten in 31 fights, was accused of rejecting a fight against Alvarez, something he denied as he confirmed he would move up to super-middle for the bout.

Charlo said on Instagram: Canelo ain’t never gave me no contract. I ain’t ever duck no Canelo.

“I’ll go to 168. F*** it, I’ll go to 168.”

Getty Images – Getty

Jermall Charlo, left next to brother Jermell, is WBC champion [/caption]

Errol Spence Jr, unified welterweight champion

Spence is considered the man at welterweight with the WBC and IBF belts as well as the size to go with it.

He called out Canelo while ringside in his hometown of Texas to watch Smith’s loss.

Spence said: “I think it’s a great fight, especially at 160. I’m a guy that sucks down to 147… I’m holding around because I wanted to be undisputed champion at 147, but if there’s a great fight at 160, I can definitely go up to 160 and fight easy.”

Despite the callout, the unbeaten champ is another at a disadvantage with no belt to offer Canelo while also banking on the Mexican to come back to middleweight.

Getty Images – Getty

Unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr called out Canelo [/caption]

Artur Beterbiev, unified light-heavyweight champion

With Canelo proving too dominant at middleweight and super-middle, he has faced calls to go back up to light-heavy.

WBC and IBF champ Beterbiev, unbeaten with 15 straight KO’s, is the main man at 175lb.

But Canelo hinted his venture up where it took him 11 rounds to stop Russian Kovalev could have been his one and only.

Asked if he could fight at cruiserweight, he responded: “No. It’s too much. It’s too much, I think 160 and 168 is my best.”

Getty – Contributor

Artur Beterbiev is the unified light-heavyweight champion[/caption]



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