Though James Kirkland appeared to be all but locked in as Canelo Alvarez's opponent on September 15, when the young Mexican star returns to headline his own pay-per-view event, a new name has entered the discussions, and apparently, it's not just idle talk.
Former welterweight and junior middleweight titlist, and one-time pound-for-pound contender Paul Williams is under serious consideration to face Canelo at the MGM Grand.
"I met with [Williams' advisor] Al Haymon yesterday, and we met with Canelo on Monday, so I'm trying to put that together. That would certainly be a big fight for Sept. 15," said Schaefer.
"We'll see. I'm going to be continuing to work on this today, and my hope is that within the next few days or by early next week that we can have the fight done and ready to announce."
Williams' promoter Dan Goossen confirms that there have been talks between Haymon and Schaefer, and Goossen calls it "a great fight for the sport."
Williams (41-2, 27 KO) last fought in February, easily outpointing Nobuhiro Ishida on Showtime, which followed his extremely controversial win over Erislandy Lara in July 2011. The 30-year-old Williams is still a contender in the division, and would be, as Kirkland would be, the toughest challenge of Canelo's career, a step away from clearly shot fighters and into the world of guys who are at least close to their primes, though Williams may be past his.
Williams, who is listed at 6'1" but might be about 6'2" or 6'3", could present a very tough stylistic challenge for Alvarez, but a lot of that would depend, in my opinion, on Williams actually using his height and length, which usually isn't the case. His workrate and odd punching angles alone could be enough to give Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 KO) a serious run for his money, and the styles of the two fighters seem like a good fit for action.
The 21-year-old Alvarez crushed Shane Mosley on May 5, dominating the entire fight en route to a 12-round decision win in a fight where Mosley was never really in the mix, hard as he did try.
If you had your pick between Williams and Kirkland as Canelo's next opponent, who would you like to see?