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Callum Smith the frontrunner 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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WBA super middleweight champion Callum ‘Mundo’ Smith 27-0 (19) has reportedly been offered $5million to fight middleweight boss Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 53-1-2 (36) on September 12.

Mike Coppinger reported on The Athletic’s Pug and Copp podcast that the 30-year-old Brit is the preferred opponent for Alvarez, who hasn’t fought since knocking out Sergey Kovalev in 11 frames last November.

“I’m hearing that Callum Smith is still the frontrunner,” Coppinger said.

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“That is the fight DAZN wants, I’m told that’s the fight Canelo wants.

“From what I heard, Callum was offered $5million late last week. He’s been asking for $6m, but it doesn’t seem like they’re very far apart now.”

Other names that have been touted to face the Mexican superstar include John Ryder and Jason Quigley, but Coppinger believes those fights are unlikely.

“Canelo is not going to fight Jason Quigley, as has been discussed [online],” he said.

“From what I’ve been told, DAZN wouldn’t even approve that fight and Canelo has no interest in it.

“The only guy I think now being discussed heavily is Callum Smith.

“Maybe John Ryder would be considered if Smith and Canelo cannot agree on the money.”

Alvarez was widely expected to face undefeated WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders 29-0 (14) on May 2 before the global coronavirus pandemic hit, effectively shutting down boxing worldwide.

Saunders has since ruled himself out of the September date.

“Every gym was closed, and my grandparents are very elderly, I live next door to them,” he said to The Athletic.

“There were a few [health] scares. 75 per cent of my time [was dedicated] to her, I couldn’t leave the place, I had my kids every other day…

“If they think they’re going to cut my money and cut me short, that’s not going to happen.

“Considering he’s getting $35 million, they come to me for a pay cut in September?

“They want to get short notice and a pay cut. Why not him take a pay cut?”

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