Fresh off the back of his 56th professional win, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez has further solidified himself as pound-for-pound the best fighter on the planet. At just 30 years of age and having sustained very little damage in his boxing career, the world really is Canelo’s oyster. So the questions on all boxing fans lips is, what’s next?
In what was a tricky contest last Saturday in front of 73’000 fans at the AT&T Stadium in Texas, Canelo gradually broke Billy Joe Saunders down to a point where Mark Tibbs couldn’t send his man out for the ninth round. Up until then, the fight was very competitive, that is for sure. The Brit was causing Mexico’s hero some serious problems, but just didn’t have enough to keep it going.
That was of course, due to the sheer brilliance of Canelo, who began to eat away at Saunders as the fight progressed, before landing a shattering right uppercut in the 8th round, which looks to have caused severe damage to the eye of the Brit. That was the beginning of the end for Saunders, who quite clearly had no vision out of his right eye, and therefore could no longer continue meaning Alvarez got the stoppage victory.
Now the dust has settled from the weekend, with Canelo adding the WBO super-middleweight title to his collection, he now just required the IBF title to complete the undisputed set at 168-pounds. With that in mind, here are some potential avenues which Canelo may choose to go down in the near future.
Fight Caleb Plant To Become Undisputed Champion At Super-Middleweight
Perhaps the most clear and obvious option for Canelo is to fight Caleb Plant. The reason being, Plant has the one belt that Canelo desperately wants his hands on, to become the first Mexican fighter in history to be the undisputed super-middleweight champion.
This fight makes total sense, and it is blindingly obvious to boxing fans that this is the desired route for Canelo next. Having said that, ‘Sweethands’ will most certainly have other ideas, with the aim of dethroning Canelo and beating the Mexican superstar, and himself being crowned as the undisputed champion at 168-pounds.
Caleb Plant holds the final key to Canelo becoming undisputed champion at 168-pounds (Photo: Pinterest)
The only potential stumbling block in the way of this fight happening, is that Plant fights under the promotion of Al Hayman, which could potentially throw a spanner in the works and make negotiating this fight quite difficult for Eddie Hearn and Team Canelo.
Having said that, the fight is for all of the marbles, and Plant seems to want it just as much as Alvarez. A career high payday against the pound-for-pound king is undoubtedly on the table for the American, as well as the added incentive of holding every belt there is to offer in the super-middleweight division.
This fight is definitely the most likely for Canelo next, so do not be surprised if this fight takes place before the end of the year.
Trilogy With Gennady Golovkin?
As previously mentioned, it is extremely likely that the Plant fight happens next for Canelo, and rightly so. But one fight that will always keep getting brought up is the trilogy bout with former middleweight foe, Gennady Golovkin.
Canelo and GGG gave boxing fans two of the best middleweight contests seen in a very long time, with the first fight being declared a draw, and Canelo getting the nod in the rematch. Both contests were extremely competitive, with both men justifiably believing they won.
The general consensus amongst boxing fans was that Golovkin did more than enough to win the first fight, but it was deemed a split decision draw. This was the fight where the infamous Adalaide Byrd scorecard was produced, awarding Canelo the fight by a score of 118-110. An utterly ridiculous card which will do gown in history as one of the worst we’ve ever seen.
However, that doesn’t detract from how good the two fights were, which is why there will always be a narrative to sell for a trilogy fight. Although now boxing in two different weight classes, the fight is too big not to happen again. Whether it be at a catch weight, Canelo moves down or Golovkin moves up, the vast majority of boxing fans would pay to see this fight for a third time, that is for sure.