Via Matt Lieberman: Canelo Alvarez could challenge WBO light heavyweight champion Joe Smith Jr (27-3, 21 KOs) in 2022 for his title, which could lead to him trying to claim all four belts to became the undisputed 175 lb class champion.
Top Rated promoter Bob Arum says Team Canelo wants to play Smith Jr first in a situation where he is believed to be most likely to beat the three champions before moving on to tackle the champions gradual difficulty in Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol.
Team Canelo hints at Joe Smith Jr’s fight.
Arum says he thinks Canelo will take on IBF/WBC champion Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs) AFTER accepting Joe Smith first for his WBO belt. Whether that is the right move for Canelo remains to be seen.
Given Smith’s strength, size, and youth, Canelo likely won’t be able to resist him before he has a chance to fight Beterbiev. Smith is a better boxer than anyone Canelo has faced in his career, including Gennadiy Golovkin.
Smith, 32, plays next month against Callum Johnson on January 15. Whoever wins that fight will have a great chance to face Canelo next.
What matters to Canelo is the WBO title, not the rope holder. But clearly, 36-year-old Callum (20-1, 14 KOs) will be easier of the two on paper than Smith Jr because he’s older and on an unimpressive 10-round majority decisive win. for 36 years little-known – Old Russian server Emurlaev last October.
Arum would probably prefer Canelo facing Joe Smith Jr. or Beterbiev next because he’s promoting both, so it’s in his best interest that the Mexican star faces either of them rather than Johnson.
“Without any real conversation [for Canelo vs. Artur Beterbiev]. I think they might want to fight Joe Smith Jr next and then go to Betterbiev to unify the titles. They allude to it,” Bob Arum said to iFL TV about his discussions with Cnaelo’s manager Eddy Reynoso about his next fight.
That’s why the January 15 fight between Joe Smith Jr. and Callum Johnson is very important,” Arum said.
It is said that Canelo’s management did not contact Arum about wanting to organize a fight with Beterbiev. If they haven’t said anything about that game by now, that tells you that Canelo has no interest in facing Beterbiev next.
The reason for that is that Alvarez is expected to face WBC cruiser class champion Ilunga Makabu in May.
It is worth noting that Canelo seems immune to criticism and lack of interest from the boxing world towards the Makabu bout. Despite the immense criticism Canelo is receiving, he doesn’t care and he will get through the battle with the WBC champion anyway.
It seems like Canelo is joining the fray right now because the fans don’t want him to, and he doesn’t want to be seen as giving in to them.
That stubbornness helped Canelo succeed, but many fans turned him down because of his bad habit of choosing opponents they could beat rather than the talented fighters they wanted him to fight.
When Canelo finally fought against the opposition fans wanted him to, the fighters were often old.
Examples of Canelo fighting older boxers:
- Gennadiy Golovkin
- Shane Mosley
- James Kirkland
- Daniel Jacobs
- Miguel Cotto
- Lovemore Ndou
- Billy Joe Saunders
- Floyd Mayweather Jr
- Erislandy Lara
- Ryan Rhodes