Canelo Alvarez next fight: GGG, Kovalev or someone else for September showdown?

Following the unification win for Canelo Alvarez vs Danny Jacobs, Danny Flexen lists five possible next opponents for the Mexican

Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA
Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

Fresh from a competitive but thankfully controversy-free unanimous decision victory over Danny Jacobs, Canelo Alvarez is now the hold of three of the four major belts at middleweight, having added the IBF strap of his victim to the WBC and WBA titles he already had in his possession. Thought now turn inevitably to September 14, the Saturday two days before Mexican Independence Day and likely to be the superb Mexican’s next fight date. Regarding Canelo’s dance partner, his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, threw out a few names immediately following the Jacobs fight and here, in my opinion, are the top 5 most likely. Four of them are fighting next month!

Gennady Golovkin III
While the record books show Canelo owns a win and a draw against his Kazakh adversary, many observers felt GGG did enough to win both times. Now with DAZN, the same broadcaster as his rival, GGG debuts for the group on June 8 against the unbeaten but untested Steve Rolls. Should Golovkin look good in his first fight under new trainer Johnathon Banks, he may well be next for Canelo, as reports suggest that is the fight both GGG and DAZN desire. The current favourite.

Jermall Charlo
The WBC Interim champion has yet to be made Canelo’s official mandatory challenger with the sanctioning body, after a mandated final eliminator with GGG never came off. Until he is and thus becomes unavoidable – presuming Canelo values the title (his relationship with the Mexico-based WBC has been surprisingly fractious at times) – it appears unlikely unbeaten, talented Charlo, aligned with Al Haymon’s PBC, will be accommodated. In the meantime he meets Brandon Adams on June 29.

Demetrius Andrade
The fact he holds the only major title at 160lbs that Canelo has yet to hold – the WBO championship - makes Andrade a desirable foe. That Andrade fights on DAZN makes him a viable one, too. However, he is a 6ft 1in southpaw (Canelo has struggled with left-handers in the past), supremely gifted but not always exciting and not the most marketable. Andrade, 27-0 and in his prime, is probably not going to be top of the list, even if he destroys Maciej Sulecki on June 29.

Callum Smith
De La Hoya floated the idea of Canelo moving back up to 168lbs or even further north, to light-heavyweight. A match against Super WBA super-middleweight champion Smith, at Wembley Stadium no less, was mooted. I’d love to see it, but such a fixture seems like the definitive high-risk, low-reward challenge for Canelo. 6ft 3in Smith is a huge super-middleweight who next defends on June 1, possibly against Hassan N’Dam, and looked fabulous subduing the favoured George Groves to win the WBSS in September.

Sergey Kovalev
A shot at WBO light-heavyweight ruler Kovalev was another of De La Hoya’s brainwaves, apparently at the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium. Before people start wondering if Oscar is back to his partying ways, it’s not as crazy as it first seems. Kovalev is big, sure, but at the consensus says, at 36, he is not the force he once was, despite the recent revenge victory over Eleider Alvarez. A big name in the US and both good and large enough, that people may actually pick against Canelo, Kovalev is a tasty outside bet here.

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