There have been rumors flying for the past couple months about who Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (52-1-2, 35KOs) will fight next. A lot has happened recently. A lot of names being mentioned, some changes in the division. One thing is for certain though – no matter who Canelo fights, boxing fans will be tuning in for it.
Canelo was recently elevated to WBC “Franchise” Champion. Jermall “Hitman” Charlo (29-0, 21KOs) was elevated from interim WBC champ to full WBC champ. With all these different titles nowadays, it can be confusing – even for the hardcore boxing fans. So we are going to breakdown exactly what the Franchise Champion is and means.
- Canelo is unable to pass the honor to another fighter. It is not transferable. Only the WBC Board of Governors can vote someone into this position.
- The Franchise champion will be designated as WBC emeritus champion once he retires from boxing. This means he can come out of retirement and challenge any WBC champion at any weight.
- If Canelo moves up to 168 or 175 and beats the current title holder of that division, the WBC title would then become vacant for another contender.
- If the Franchise Champion loses, the winner will receive the Diamond belt and may be considered as mandatory contender of the division. So basically – if Canelo wins there’s no change in his or the opponent’s status. If the challenger wins he will not become the franchise champion, but would get a special “Diamond” belt… it’s very confusing.
With that out of the way, now we get move on to potential opponents. So many rumors, so many “his camp is talking to this one’s camp”, so many maybes and ifs. It’s exciting and frustrating all at the same time. As a boxing fan you want to see the best fight the best or your favorite fighter fight him (if you’re not a fan of Canelo). Here are the most likely of all opponents being mentioned.
Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (39-1-1, 35KOs)
All roads lead back to GGG. The two have fought twice already with the first fight ending in a controversial draw (many felt GGG won), and Canelo grabbing a razor thin decision win in the 2nd fight. It left many fans yearning for more. DAZN, the network that both fighters are on signed both of them so that they could fight each other. It’s no secret that if DAZN was or is calling the shots (no one really knows) that this is the fight that will happen in September. Personally I wouldn’t mind seeing the trilogy. Boxing fans would like to see it before Golovkin gets too old. He’s currently 37 and would turn 38 before a potential May fight, so a September fight is more ideal.
WBO Middleweight Champ Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade (28-0, 17KOs)
With the whole Franchise champ thing… it seems as though Canelo is the equivalent to the “super” champ in the WBA rankings. So in theory this fight should be for the undisputed middleweight crown. If you’re Canelo, why wouldn’t you want this fight and why wouldn’t you prioritize it over the rest? Andrade has shown he has top tier skills, but he has never shown it against top tier competition. Stylistically, Andrade could give Canelo problems. It’s not the ideal matchup for Canelo, but he has enough experience in this boxing game, that is shouldn’t matter. This is def a blockbuster fight, and it’s the only other fight im truly interested in.
WBO Junior-Middleweight Champ Jamie Munguia (33-0, 29KOs)
We won’t sugarcoat this at all. This fight would be TRASH. This isn’t a knock on Munguia but he simply isn’t in the same realm as Canelo skillwise and is not ready for an opponent like him at this time. Some boxing fans aren’t sure if he would ever be ready. Munguia is Mexican, and maybe Canelo’s team thinks it would sell since the fight is being planned for Mexican Independence Day weekend. This fight should not happen.
Any champion at 168 pounds
This is probably the least likely scenario. WBA (Super) Super Middleweight champ Callum Smith (26-0, 19KOs) has been rumored to be in talks with WBO Super Middleweight champ Billy Joe Saunders (28-0, 13KOs) and has received an offer for the fight. The details are unknown at this time, but this would be a major fight at 168. That leaves IBF champion Caleb “SweetHands” Plant (18-0, 10KOs) and WBC champion Anthony Dirrell (33-1-1, 24KOs) and neither are realistic opponents.
WBO Light Heavyweight Champ Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (33-3-1, 28KOs)
Another unlikely opponent who’s been right in the middle of the many rumors surrounding Canelo’s next opponent. With all the options on the table it seems unlikely. Kovalev is also reportedly close to a deal with Mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde (18-0, 17KOs). If Kovalev were to accept an offer from Canelo, he would have to pay Yarde “step aside money”. Forget the politics of even getting a deal done with Canelo. It just seems so far fetched at the moment with everything going on. I would imagine that there’d be a rehydration clause and all types of nonsense to favor Canelo if he were to go up two weight classes to fight Kovalev. Unless Canelo’s team offered Kovalev a large purse, it’s not worth while for Kovalev.
Those are all the possibilities that I’ve seen in recent weeks, and it’s more options than most fighters have. When you are arguably the best p4p fighter in the world – you get that luxury. Hopefully, boxing fans get one of the top 2 choices. You may have noticed that I did not mention Jermall “Hitman” Charlo as an option. There’s been no talks of that even being a possibility, so I’m not going to entertain it. If Canelo wanted to fight him, it would have been thrown out there already. I wouldn’t mind seeing Golovkin take a crack at Charlo. From a stylistic perspective alone it seems like a fight that would surely give us fireworks and who knows what could happen. Stay tuned for further updates.