Eddie Hearn reveals 3 back-up opponents for Billy Joe Saunders but is still trying for Canelo Alverez fight in September – The Sun

EDDIE HEARN has revealed three back-up opponents for Billy Joe Saunders' next fight if a deal cannot be struck with Saul Alvarez.

Saunders and Canelo were on the brink of agreeing a bout earlier this year.

But the global impact of coronavirus halting sport as well as BJS getting his British boxing licence suspended following a controversial video teaching men how to hit their partners put the fight on hold.

There is still hope within the Brit's camp that an agreement can be found with the Mexican.

And that bout, expected to be at super-middleweight, with Saunders, 30, currently the reigning WBO world champion.

Canelo, meanwhile, is a four-weight world champ and won his last fight – in November against Sergey Kovalev – at light heavyweight and claimed the WBO belt.

Alvarez's trainer Eddy Reynoso revealed his man is still hopeful of fighting twice this year.

He wants the Saunders fight in September before a blockbuster trilogy bout with Gennady Golovkin in December.

However, should a deal not be struck between Saunders and Canelo, promoter Hearn has a plan.

The Matchroom chief told IFL TV the Plan B for Saunders would be taking on Callum Smith, Demetrius Andrade or Chris Eubank Jr.

Hearn said: "I emailed Golden Boy two days ago and said, 'I know you're in the process of selecting your opponent for September for Canelo and I want to say: we're ready.'

"I expect everybody right now who was in a fight pre-corona and with a fight to come back with a reduced offer.

"I believe Canelo will fight GGG after his next.

"I would put him in with Andrade or with Callum Smith. There's three fights for Billy Joe Saunders – there's Callum Smith which is an all-British unification fight which is the priority if the Canelo fight doesn't happen.

"There's Demetrius Andrade which is another fight that was supposed to happen, another really good fight.

"And there's Chris Eubank Jr for the banter, the build-up would be fantastic. That's just box office all over it, not just the fight, Billy Joe terrorising Jr and Sr – that's what we've got to see.

"But I don't think Billy is really motivated by that fight because he's saying, 'Well, I'm world champion and already beaten him. What am I doing?'

"If commercially that's the fight that makes sense then I'm sure he would do it."

Smith is the WBA super-middleweight king so a fight between the British pair would have two belts and two unbeaten records on the line.

However, with the pandemic still set to limit crowds for the foreseeable future, Hearn may want to hold off on putting two of his men up against each other in an empty arena.

A clash with WBO middleweight champion Andrade could also be difficult to agree during lockdown with the purse for both men set to be significantly higher if they wait until 2021.

Like Saunders, Andrade boasts a perfect record of 29 wins from 29 professional fights.

But the least likely out of the three options would be Eubank because Saunders has already beaten him befoe.

The Brit has also won 29 pro bouts but has two defeats on his record – against George Groves in February 2018 and Saunders in November 2014 for the European, British and Commonwealth middleweight titles.

In that 2014 meeting, Eubank's wasteful first half meant, despite dominating the later stages, he had given himself too much to do and went down via a split decision.

Eubank's win against James DeGale in February 2019 saw him claim the vacant IBO super-middleweight crown before he won the WBA interim middleweight belt in December against Matt Korobov.

Source: Read Full Article