By Sean Jones: Eddie Hearn says Canelo Alvarez will be meeting with his trainer Eddy Reynoso next week to decide his next opponent for May 7th. Hearn isn’t sure who Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) will face, but he mentions Ilunga Makabu as a possible option.
Makabu (28-2, 25 KOs) fights on January 29th that he needs to win first against Thabiso Mchunu for him to get a chance to win the Canelo lottery for May 7th.
Aside from Makabu, Hearn would like to see Canelo tackle the 175-lb division in 2022 to try and become an undisputed champion in two weight classes.
The 31-year-old Mexican superstar Canelo recently became the undisputed champion in the barren wasteland of the 168-lb division last November, finishing the journey he started in 2018 by beating Caleb Plant by an 11th round knockout.
If Canelo follows Hearn’s wishes by going up to 175, he’d be marching up to the cannon’s mouth in 2022 to meet the withering artillery fire from Artur Beterbiev, Dmitry Bivol, and Joe Smith Jr.
Benavidez, Golovkin & Charlo options for Canelo at 168
Hearn says Canelo still has several appealing fights if he chooses to return to the 168-lb division in May. If Canelo does return to the super middleweight weight class, Hearn would like to see him take on David Benavidez, Gennadiy Golovkin, or Jermall Charlo.
Hearn might be asking too much for Canelo, particularly with his mention of former two-time WBC super middleweight champion Benavidez (25-0, 22 KOs).
It’s common knowledge at this point with boxing fans that Canelo is avoiding Benavidez like the plague.
Hearn might as well be asking Canelo to jump into a sea filled with hungry sharks because he’s got ZERO interest in running the gauntlet in 2022 against Benavidez, Charlo, and GGG.
At this point in Canelo’s career, we’re more likely to see him facing these three fighters in 2022: Ilunga Makabu, John Ryder, and possibly Ryota Murata.
“I spoke to Eddy Reynoso a couple of times over the last week or so, and I saw his Tweet where he’s basically saying, ‘We haven’t started any negotiations yet, but that will be happening in due course,” said Eddie Hearn to DAZN Boxing Show on Canelo Alvarez’s next fight.
“Saul has been enjoying himself in Miami,” Hearn continued. I’ve seen a couple of videos going around—a well-deserved break. Next week, they’re going to sit down and start talking about what’s next and who’s next.
“There are many options [for Canelo], and there are many options from Matchroom and DAZN. There are many options from PBC. Obviously, there’s a cruiserweight option [against Ilunga Makabu] as well.
“Yeah, that’s definitely an option for him,” said Hearn when asked about Canelo possibly facing Jermall Charlo next on May 7th. “Certainly, if you’re PBC and you’re putting options for Canelo, Charlo and [David] Benavidez are two of those options,” Hearn said.
“You also have great options at 168. You’ve got Gennadiy Golovkin, the trilogy. You’ve got [Jermall] Charlo if he moves up, and you’ve got Benavidez. You’ve got the cruiserweight option as well,” Hearn said.
If Hearn is lucky, Canelo will fight WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol, as he promotes him. A dream come true for Hearn would be for Canelo to face Bivol and Demetrius Andrade in 2022.
Hearn wants Canelo to unify at 175 in 2022
We’ll soon see how much pull Eddie Hearn has with Canelo Alvarez and his trainer/manager Eddy Reynoso when it comes to them selecting his next opponent for May 7th on the Cinco de Mayo holiday.
If Hearn is in Canelo & Reynoso’s good graces, they’ll bend to his wishes and move up to 175 to take on Artur Beterbiev, Joe Smith Jr., or preferably Dmitry Bivol.
With Hearn making it known for the last two months that he wants Canelo to fight at 175 for all of 2022, if he chooses to go up to cruiserweight on May 7th to pick off the weakest link in Ilunga Makabu, it’ll show you where the British promoter stands with them.
Likely, Canelo and Reynoso have already decided that they want the 34-year-old Makabu next because beating him is like falling off a log.
There’s no risk involved for Canelo. He shows up, batters Makabu, and then picks up another fat paycheck from DAZN. But for what Hearn wants Canelo to do, going up to 175 to take some real risks against Beterbiev, Bivol, and the heavy-handed Joe Smith Jr, there’s a danger for the Mexican star.
Beterbiev is a body puncher, and he wouldn’t be bothered by all the Mayweather-esque head movement that Canelo uses.
The two-time Russian Olympian Beterbieve would aim his punches at Canelo’s midsection and bring him to heel. For that reason, Canelo will ignore what Hearn wants for him and choose to go in the direction selected by his eagle-eyed trainer/manager Reynoso, who handpicks the Mexican super star’s opposition.
Canelo could lose and possibly get knocked out by one or all of them, particularly if he faces IBF/WBC 175-lb champion Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs) next.
“I love the potential of him moving to 175 and trying to become undisputed up there,” Hearn continued. “You’ve got three tremendous fights against Dmitry Bivol, Joe Smith, and Artur Beterbiev,” said Hearn on wanting Alvarez to fight at light heavyweight in 2022 to try and become the undisputed champion at light heavyweight.
If Canelo wants to create a legacy that isn’t based on cheap wins over paper champions and opposition cherry-picked year and after, it would be in his best interest to follow Hearn’s advice and go up to 175.
Even if Canelo fails to become the undisputed champion at light heavyweight, boxing fans will respect him for at least trying.
“It’s just going to come down to Eddy Reynoso and Saul and what appeals to them and what gets them,” said Hearn. “It’s the motivation. They’ve done so much in the sport. They don’t need [money]. It’s NOT about the money for them.
“It’s about what excites them, and it’s about a plan. I feel like they’ve taken care of business at 168, but there are still some good fights for them there,” said Hearn.
Hearn is dead wrong about Canelo having “taken care of business at 168.” The fact is, Canelo has skipped over the most challenging part of the business at 168 by swerving the #1 and #2 fighters in the division in David Benavidez and David Morrell Jr.
Those two are by far the best fighters in the super middleweight division. Canelo conveniently didn’t fight either of them when he went after the four paper champions in his question to become the undisputed champion.
The guys that Canelo beat at 168 to capture his four titles were this flawed bunch of belt-holders:
- Caleb Plant
- Rocky Fielding
- Billy Joe Saunders
- Callum Smith
“I think the idea of becoming undisputed in two weight classes, knowing Eddy and Saul, it’s the kind of thing that might appeal to them,” said Hearn.
“But ultimately, they’re going to sit down and look at all their options on paper and say, ‘Yeah, that one.’ Hopefully, that one involves us and DAZN,” said Hearn about Canelo.
Sean Jones gets the sense that Reynoso and Canelo are risk-averse, and they’re not trying to fight anyone that could potentially beat them at this point. Canelo & eagle-eyes Reynoso dodged a bullet with their two fights against Golovkin, and they’ve stopped taking risks entirely since the second fight, which many boxing fans believe they should have lost.
That second fight with GGG took away the best part of Canelo, leaving just the shiftless shell of the fighter he’d been. At this point, Canelo lacks the ambition he once had during the early days of his career.