WBA super middleweight champion Callum ‘Mundo’ Smith 27-0 (19) remains the leading contender to face Mexican superstar and world middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 53-1-2 (36) later this year, according to his promoter Eddie Hearn.
But the Matchroom Boxing boss has cast doubt on the fight happening on the proposed date of September 12.
WBO 168-pound champion Billy Joe Saunders 29-0 (14) was initially in the mix for the Alvarez assignment but withdrew from negotiations citing the pay cut he would need to take to travel to America during the global coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m almost certain that Canelo Alvarez’s first choice is Callum Smith, of the people available,” Hearn told Boxing Social.
“Because it would make him the legitimate No.1 168-pounder if he beat him. I know Canelo loves challenges.
“He loves to fight the best and [fight] champions. But also Callum Smith is expensive.
“He’s the Ring magazine champion and WBA champion.
“Of course he’s going to be expensive. There’s no way around that.”
Hearn admitted the chances of Alvarez fighting anyone on September 12 are slim.
“We have to really say September 12 is dead,” he said. “And it’s difficult because Callum Smith doesn’t want to be training as he is if September 12th is not happening.
“And there’s no confirmation of that. I’m asking people at DAZN, but the generally feeling is unlikely now.
“But when will it be? You don’t want to taper back in training and then say we’re going September 22nd!
“As difficult as it can be, fighters can say to themselves the 12th’s not happening, but maybe the 22nd will.
“It’s not my business, but it would be an honour for one of my guys to get another shot at Canelo Alvarez.”