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Canelo Alvarez now reportedly nearing deal to face Billy Joe Saunders

Saunders is the new man leading the race.

Andy Ruiz Jr v Anthony Joshua 2 - Clash on the Dunes, IBF, WBA, WBO & IBO World Heavyweight Title Fight Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

In the latest news surrounding the big anticipated Cinco De Mayo fight for Canelo Alvarez, it’s Billy Joe Saunders who now appears to be the frontrunner to land the bout. Originally it appeared that Canelo was going to take on Ryoto Murata in Japan, but those negotiations fell apart, and then things took an even stranger turn when Callum Smith turned down a career-high payday to face Canelo.

Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn said that both Smith and Billy Joe Saunders, both of whom he promotes, were holding out for better offers, and admitted that the fighter willing to take the least amount of money was likely to get the fight. Well, according to Mike Coppinger, it seems that a Saunders fight is looking increasingly likely. Coppinger reports that negotiations between Canelo and Saunders are now about 95% completed, with the only remaining obstacle being Saunders’ guaranteed minimum.

Coppinger also commented that Smith has priced himself out of the fight, effectively eliminating him from consideration at this point. And as we expected, a formal announcement on Canelo’s next outing should be made soon with May just around the corner.

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