Saul Alvarez: Canelo Once Again Searching for September Opponent
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It's hard to get a good fight these days. At least that must be how Canelo Alvarez (40-0-1 29 KO) must be feeling.
The undefeated Mexican star was originally scheduled to face Paul "The Punisher" Williams on September 15th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. But that fight had to be cancelled when Williams was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident in May.
Within days of the cancellation, Alvarez and his promoters promptly found a new foe, James Kirkland, who accepted and then withdrew from the fight within a matter of days.
Next in line was former WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz. Ortiz himself had been denied a high-profile fight when Andre Berto, who Ortiz defeated in a thrilling decision last year, tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
All Ortiz had to do was dispatch late substitute Josesito Lopez this past Saturday in Los Angeles. But a broken jaw led to broken dreams.
A stunned Canelo Alvarez was once again searching for an opponent.
The speculation now moves to the immediate question: who next? After all, this is a pay-per-view card that will be competing against the Sergio Martinez-Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. fight, which will be shown the same night on HBO PPV.
Despite his win and post-fight declaration that he'd fight anybody, Josesito Lopez is not likely. He'd be forced to come up in weight for the fight, and even with the win over Ortiz, he doesn't have the name recognition necessary to highlight a PPV fight.
Many boxing fans have called for Alvarez to face Cuban southpaw Erislandy Lara (16-1-1 11 KO). Lara, who lost a decision to Paul Williams in a fight most felt he clearly won, would present some interesting stylistic challenges for Canelo.
Lara is scheduled to face Freddy Hernandez on June 30th in Indio, California.
Other fighters have been more forthright in their desire for the match. One of those is former WBA junior lightweight champion Marcos Maidana. In comments to BoxingScene.com, Maidana called out Alvarez and stated their fight would be a "war" but one he could win.
Most will correctly dismiss Maidana's talk as bluster. He's fought most of his fights in the lower weight classes, and in his one foray up to welterweight, he looked bloated and slow while being dominated by Devon Alexander.
One name that has not been mentioned, perhaps because Canelo's people feel he isn't yet ready, is Miguel Cotto. Cotto lost a competitive unanimous decision, and his WBA 154 pound title, to Floyd Mayweather on May 5th.
He could be ready for a September date with Alvarez.
From a business perspective, Cotto makes perfect sense. Canelo-Cotto would certainly be more intriguing than any of the other potential fights thus far mentioned and would be better suited to compete with Martinez-Chavez Jr. in the PPV battle.
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