By: Hans Themistode
When it comes down to choosing an opponent for four division boxing champion Canelo Alvarez’s next ring appearance, it seems to be a merry go round. The only difference on this ride, is that it doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon.
Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) has just about everyone calling him out. When you become a world champion in three weight classes simultaneously, the amount of callouts grows exponentially.
In his past three fights, Canelo campaigned in three different weight classes. First, Canelo needed only three rounds to rip away the WBA “Regular” title from Rocky Fielding. He grabbed the IBF crown in the Middleweight division from Daniel Jacobs shortly after, before capping things off with a brutal 11th round stoppage over Sergey Kovalev for his Light Heavyweight WBO belt.
Canelo may have been proud of the work that he has done as of late, but he now wakes up every single day to a new rumor from an opponent he quite possibly didn’t even know existed.
The latest Canelo news involved WBA “Regular” Middleweight titlist Ryota Murata. Apparently, he not only had his own intentions of fighting Canelo but he also intended on dragging him across the world to Japan in order to do so.
Before anyone could even wrap their heads around the news, Murata had seemingly out of nowhere, became the front runner.
Fans of Canelo begrudgingly, began to pack their bags to head half way across the world. Yet, it seems as though the long road trip won’t be needed. According to ESPN the Mexican born Canelo has narrowed his choices down to two opponents, and none include Murata.
Leading the large pack of Canelo opponent hopefuls is WBO Super Middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders and WBC titlist Callum Smith.
Both front runners are coming off uninspiring performances in their last ring outing. For Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) he managed to score a stoppage win over the unknown Marcelo Esteban Coceres, but looked flat and uninterested throughout. As for Smith (27-0, 19 KOs) he struggled far more than anyone was expecting against his mandatory challenger John Ryder.
Pay no mind to either performance. Smith has the height, power and reach to give Canelo all sorts of issues, while Saunders is the sort of boxer that if he is on his best day, can take down anyone.
With Murata now officially out of the running, Canelo is expected to make a decision in terms of who he will choose as an opponent within the next few weeks. Of course, another dark horse candidate could appear but for now, it seems as though both Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders have the inside track to get the fight next.