As a report emerges virtually confirming Canelo vs GGG 3 for September, it appears the Mexican still plans to face Billy Joe Saunders in June
When you are boxing’s preeminent superstar, it pays to think several moves ahead. So while Canelo Alvarez and his team strive to reschedule the aborted May 2 super-middleweight title challenge against Billy Joe Saunders amid a landscape significantly altered by Covid-19, they have also been in talks with old rival GGG, Gennady Golovkin, regarding a trilogy fight to take place in the autumn.
The Athletic reported yesterday that a verbal agreement has been reached for this contest and that the initial plan calls for it to take place on September 12 at the AT&T Stadium in Texas. Canelo and GGG first fought to a highly contentious draw in September 2017 before Alvarez took a close but merited verdict in their rematch a year later. The third showdown, one that would hopefully settle the issue of supremacy once and for all, has been talked about for some time but now appears as close as it has ever been. Canelo is now a three-weight world champion, having stopped Sergey Kovalev in December and is aiming to make it four against WBO 168lbs champ Saunders. GGG, meanwhile, recaptured the IBF version of the middleweight title in a tough tussle with Sergiy Derevyanchenko in October.
That Alvarez has agreed this match when still trying to ensure the Saunders bout goes ahead suggests a certain level of assurance, even arrogance, that unbeaten Billy Joe should not present too much of a problem, that the judges will favour Canelo in a close fight, or both. As we have previously written there are several factors which make the Brit a serious threat but without a huge punch, particularly at super-middle, and the marquee fighter’s proven chin, any belief on Canelo’s part that their bout is going the distance seems reasonable.
There is still the possibility however that Canelo is overlooking Saunders to an extent and pride does often come before a fall. Saunders has the skill-set to wreck Alvarez’s best laid plans if the Mexican hero is anything other than fully switched on in June. Time will tell but for Saunders, who has chased both Canelo and GGG for years, he could feasibly get both targets within three months. That could be the greatest motivation of all.