Despite a brave effort, Billy Joe Saunders’ attempt to become the first man to beat Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez since 2013 ultimately ended in failure, with the Mexcan fistic wizard even breaking the Brit’s orbital bone in the process.
Canelo’s only career defeat came at the hands of Floyd Mayweather nearly eight years ago, but these days the 31-year-old, firmly in his fighting prime, looks unstoppable. So where does ho go next? Here are four fighters we could see the current king of the ring face next...
Caleb Plant seems to be the name at the front of the Mexican superstar’s mind at the moment and for good reason. The American is the IBF super-middleweight title holder, and is therefore the last piece of the 168 lb puzzle for Canelo having snatched Saunders’ WBO strap in Texas last night. It means that a clash between these two would leave the winner as the undisputed champion.
It’s what Canelo wants, Plant wants and promoter Eddie Hearn said it’s the only “fight” to make. However, with Plant signed to Premier Boxing Champion and Canelo at the end of his contract with DAZN, there could be some red tape to work through before getting this fight off the ground.
It all kicked off in the aftermath of Canelo’s win over Saunders last night when Demetrius Andrade stormed the post-fight presser to goad the pound-for-pound fighter into a future fight.
The unbeaten two-weight world champion has long expressed his desire to fight Canelo however the Mexican has been dismissive of Andrade’s record and made that clear last night, stating, “'You are a champion but you fight with nobody. Get the f*** out of here man, you've fought nobody. Get the f*** out of here.”
Like Billy Joe Saunders, the build-up top this one could be fun but it seems Canelo has bigger fish to fry for the time being.
With Gennady Golovkin turning 39 last month, a third fight between himself and Canelo might not spark the same amount of excitement as the previous two did but there’s no question that the boxer from Kazakhstan gave Canelo the two toughest fights off his career, aside from that sole defeat to Floyd Mayweather.
It would still be a big fight but with IBF middleweight champion Golovkin unlikely to step up in weight and rather focus on unification bouts at 160lbs, we’re unlikely to see this one come to fruition.
Elsewhere there’s WBA light-heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol, a Matchroom fighter who has often said that he’d be happy to drop down a class and face Canelo.
With fellow light-heavyweight titlists Joe Smith Jr and Artur Beterbiev looking likely to come up against one another in a mouthwatering unification in autumn, Bivol is free and a clash with Canelo would unquestionably be the biggest fight out there for him while he waits on a winner.