17 September 2020

Eddie Hearn still hopeful Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will face Billy Joe Saunders or Callum Smith amid legal lawsuit

Promoter Eddie Hearn believes Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez could still face either Billy Joe Saunders or Callum Smith in November despite the Mexican’s ongoing legal battle.

Canelo, 30, filed a lawsuit against his promoter Oscar De La Hoya and broadcaster DAZN last week for what he feels is a breach of his £280 million contract.

Saunders was set to face Canelo in May before the coronavirus pandemic led to the fight being cancelled (PA)

But while many in boxing believe out of the ring distractions will lead to Canelo having to wait until 2021 for his next fight, Hearn remains confident one of his boxers Saunders or Smith are still in the running for a clash in around two months time.

"It's always messy when a fighter and a promotional company end up in the courtroom. It's nice to avoid it," he told Sky Sports.

"We want to see him back in the ring particularly because the two fights there for him are Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders, two of our guys. I want them to have the opportunity to fight Canelo.

"Hopefully it gets resolved and we see Canelo back in the ring - he's one of the biggest stars in world boxing and is a terrific fighter.

"I think the plan is still for Canelo to box in November, or at least this year. If he does, I've got my fingers crossed they pick Callum or Billy.

"If they don't, they should fight each other. But if there's no fans, how do you do Smith vs Saunders?Right now it's about keeping the fighters active but also recognising some fighters are better for 2021."

Smith has been WBA Super-Middleweight World Champion since September 2018 (PA)

Saunders and Smith both currently hold world title belts in the super-middleweight division and therefore have something Canelo could well see as a carrot to take a fight with either of them.

But the absence of crowds remains a stumbling block in negotiations and could lead to mega fights between the likes of Canelo/Smith/Saunders put on the back burner until the pandemic calms down.

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