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Canelo Alvarez unlikely to fight in 2020

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) looks unlikely to return to the ring this year.

British super middleweights Callum ‘Mundo’ Smith 27-0 (19) and Billy Joe Saunders 29-0 (14) were both touted as possible opponents, but negotiations for those fights have frozen over.

WBO champion Saunders conceded the Alvarez bout won’t happen and has called out WBA champion Smith and WBO middleweight titleholder Demetrius Andrade 29-0 (18).

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“Looks like the big one won’t be happening Alvarez but still @BooBooAndrade or Callum Smith should be made for November,” he tweeted.

Saunders hasn’t fought since his 11th round knockout of Marcelo Esteban Coceres in Los Angeles last November.

Smith has also been out of action for 10 months since his close points win over John Ryder in Liverpool.

Trainer Joe Gallagher is desperate to get Smith back in the ring before the end of the year.

A big domestic bout with Saunders would be ideal, but it is believed there is not enough money in the pot to bring the bout to fruition.

“Billy Joe and Callum Smith, I don’t think there’s enough money to generate what both would want for that when you look at what Billy Joe wanted, $8m for Canelo,” Gallagher told Sky Sports.

“Callum doesn’t want that much, but similar, a little bit lower.

“I think both of them to fight each other, they’d be wanting four or five million each, and no matter what Callum Smith wants, Billy Joe would want more. I just don’t think there’s the money in that fight here in the UK as a headline event.

“Billy Joe didn’t perform well in his last fight out. I think he needs to get a good win and Callum Smith, a good win or another belt, and build up that fight then for the summer next year.

“Both of them have been dangled the Canelo carrot and I don’t blame both fighters, because that’s their career-best payday and I don’t blame them for hanging on to try and get it.”

Mexican superstar Alvarez, 30, has been ordered by the WBC to face number one super middleweight contender Avni Yildirim but that fight is unlikely to happen.

Smith had been hoping to add the vacant green belt to his WBA strap but would settle for a unification bout against IBF champion Caleb ‘Sweethands’ Plant 20-0 (12).

“Callum Smith, he just wants to fight,” said Gallagher. “He obviously wants the Canelo fight, if not, he wants the Caleb Plant fight. They are the two that he’s marked. He’s disappointed that he didn’t get the WBC.

“I wanted Callum Smith out in October. I want him out in November. There is a cut-off point. There are fights there, and Caleb Plant is a very good fight for him.”

Smith claimed the WBA title in the final of the inaugural season of the World Boxing Super Series with a seventh-round knockout of George Groves in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia two years ago.

He has successfully defended his title twice since.

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