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Callum Smith and John Ryder on the shortlist to face Canelo Alvarez in September

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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World middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 53-1-2 (36) could face either Callum Smith 27-0 (19) or John Ryder 28-5 (16) in his next fight, according to Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez.

WBA super middleweight champion Smith successfully defended his title for the second time in a tough-than-expected 12-rounder against Ryder in Liverpool last November.

Now it appears the British pair are on the shortlist to face the Mexican superstar on September 14 in Las Vegas.

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“There is a very good chance. There are a couple of guys we are looking at as a possibility,” Gomez told Sky Sports.

WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders has already rejected the assignment, citing a lack of preparation time.

“Some champions are not available,” Gomez said.

Gomez admitted that a US-based opponent would be the easier option with international travel restrictions in place due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

“We don’t have to deal with any visa restrictions that have been imposed by the government. If there is someone already here in the US? That helps,” he said.

“It is more difficult now because of the restrictions. The borders are not all open so it isn’t easy to bring some fighters to the US.

“It all depends on the negotiations. We are not living in the world that we lived in last year. Canelo will be taking a significant pay-cut.

“It depends on the negotiations.

“Anybody willing to come to the table and be reasonable, he will fight.

“We are not discarding any of the top guys.”

He added: “If you look at Canelo’s career, he has always wanted to fight the best and it’s no different here, he still wants to fight the best.

“But some really good fighters are available to fight Canelo in September and that’s what we are working on now.

“We’re talking to him and presenting different ideas for him to be able to fight in September.

“The big concern that he has is the protocols. If he fights in September, there will be no fans. We are in communication with him and soon he will make a decision – does he want to fight without fans or wait until there is some sort of normalcy again?

“Canelo is a young man in his prime years and he wants to take advantage of the fact that he can still fight at a high level. To take a year off would be very damaging in his prime. That is the motivation.

“He wants to keep proving that he is the best fighter in the world.”

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