Canelo Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders reportedly set for May 2

According to ESPN Deportes’ Salvador Rodriguez, an announcement will be made soon — possibly today, even — for Canelo Alvarez’ next fight.

We’ve known it was set for May 2, we knew it’d be taking place at super middleweight, and the most recent linked opponent was Billy Joe Saunders. Rodriguez reports that the deal is done for Canelo to face Saunders in Las Vegas.

Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KO) holds the WBA’s secondary “world” title at 168 pounds, while Saunders (29-0, 14 KO) has the WBO title, which is at the moment just about as legit as a secondary belt.

The 29-year-old Canelo went 2-0 in 2019, beating Daniel Jacobs at middleweight on May 4 and Sergey Kovalev at light heavyweight on Nov. 2. Saunders, 30, scored wins over Shefat Isufi and Marcelo Coceres on May 18 and Nov. 9, struggling mightily in the latter bout for scoring an 11th round knockout.

It’s not exactly the biggest fight out there, but it’s not far off, either. Ryota Murata was previously linked to Alvarez for a middleweight fight in Japan, but that fell apart, and WBA 168-pound titleholder Callum Smith reportedly turned down an offer. The truth is that Canelo, for as big a star as he is, doesn’t have a lot of serious marquee opponents available between 160 and 175; some good fighters, but Gennadiy Golovkin would still be the biggest name available to him, and a third fight with GGG is something Alvarez is (not surprisingly) reportedly more willing to entertain than before, possibly for September.

Style-wise, this does not figure to be a very exciting fight, as both Alvarez and Saunders are really technicians at heart, but it’s still a big fight simply because it has Canelo Alvarez in the main event.


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