By: Hans Themistode
There was a litany of names spewed across the desk of Canelo Alvarez roughly a month ago. Some that were world champions and some that were simply interesting names. After mulling over his options, Alvarez attempted to make his 2020 ring debut against IBF super middleweight titleholder Caleb Plant.
Those plans however, never materialized as there reportedly wasn’t enough time to promote a fight of that magnitude. With several notable names still ready, willing and able to take him on – Alvarez instead opted to face the much larger Smith.
For the Mexican product, taking Smith on this Saturday night was a complete no brainer. It wasn’t simply because he holds both the WBA and Ring magazine titles, but more so because of how highly Alvarez ranks the British star.
“He’s ranked number one at 168 pounds,” said Alvarez during an interview with IFL TV. “We did have conversations with others but unfortunately it did not happen. Fortunately though, we did get this fight.”
Although a win over Smith isn’t guaranteed, Alvarez only envisions himself as the winner. Should that be the case, the 30-year-old pound for pound star has placed a target on the back of the other 168 pound champions.
“I want to unify all of the titles. That is our plan. Next year that is what we will be working on.”
Amongst those aforementioned champions at 168 pounds is current WBO titlist, Billy Joe Saunders. Both Alvarez and Saunders were originally set to meet earlier in the year. That of course, was immediately pushed to the wayside due to a combination of COVID-19 and the boxing license of Saunders getting suspended due to a viral video of the British native hitting a heavy bag while giving instructions on how to punch your wife should she annoy you too much during quarantine.
After speaking with the British Boxing Board of Control and paying 25,000 pounds to a domestic abuse charity, Saunders was officially cleared. Earlier this month, he kept his undefeated record intact by cruising past long faded contender Martin Murray.
At the moment, Saunders is still in possession of the WBO title. As long as Alvarez takes of business come this Saturday night, he has no issue with circling back to the negotiating table to take on either Saunders or whoever else has his world title.
“That’s the idea. He has the WBO title and we’re going after those titles. It doesn’t matter who has them. That’s the idea, to go after those titles.”