The Canelo conundrum: Who will Alvarez fight next?
Though the UFC made a major push to get its sport and biggest stars back in action, boxing has lagged woefully behind. A series of underwhelming cards rife with mismatches and fighters bordering on the unknown has kept boxing fans in suspense as to when the sport’s biggest stars will make their presence felt.
This is most evident with Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. Canelo has been inactive since decapitating Sergey Kovalev last November. As talks for a third fight between Alvarez and rival Gennady Golovkin continue, we’ll take a look at who is in the running to land the coveted B-side for Canelo’s 2020 debut.
WBO middleweight champion Andrade has called out every major fighter over the last five years, only to back off when they start to talk back. While Andrade is a risk due to his awkwardness, Canelo beating Andrade adds another middleweight title around his waist. If Canelo's team can endure the headache, this would end up being a significant showdown at 160.
Though Canelo owns a secondary WBA title at super middleweight, Smith is the recognized champion. There has been plenty of talk that Canelo would make a run at Smith, but Smith allegedly priced himself out of a Canelo showdown earlier this year. Depending on how desperate Canelo's team and DAZN are to find a marquee opponent, it wouldn't be surprising if they give in to Smith's demands.
Ryder was robbed against Smith in his last fight and would come at a low asking price. Canelo could fight him to smite Smith for turning him down, beating the man who most thought beat Smith. What Ryder brings is a fan friendly style and an underdog story that would draw the obligatory Rocky parallels. Though he'd come in outclassed, Ryder will make it interesting while it lasts.
All things considered, it is likely that Quigley is going to land the assignment. Canelo’s team has already made an offer to the flawed Irishman, and it’s unlikely he’ll play hardball at the negotiating table. The Irishman thrived beating lowly opposition at 154, but endured a savage beating from Tureano Johnson in a fight where he was a 25/1 favorite. Simply put, Quigley is a highlight reel KO waiting to happen. Though this might not be what fans are hoping for, Quigley is the soft touch and early night Canelo is aiming for ahead of bigger things in 2021.