Veteran southpaw Willie Monroe Jr has come up short in his two biggest fights during his 12-year pro career, but the 33-year-old former middleweight title challenger is looking to take another swing at the big time, adding himself to a big list of fighters interested in facing Canelo Alvarez on Sept. 12.
Monroe (24-3, 6 KO) challenged Gennadiy Golovkin for the WBA middleweight title in 2015, where he was stopped in six, and then challenged Billy Joe Saunders for the WBO middleweight title in 2017, losing a decision in London in a fight more famous for Monroe getting whacked in the sack by Saunders’ child at the weigh-in.
But Monroe feels a fight with Canelo is overdue, saying he had a deal to face Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KO) after a win over Gabriel Rosado a few years back, before he fought Saunders instead.
“This is a fight that is four years in the making,” said Monroe. ”What happened was when I fought Gabriel Rosado four years ago, I signed a contract to fight Canelo. I think his people were arrogant in thinking that I would not win that fight. Well, I won that fight, and the fight with Canelo never happened.”
Monroe points out that he doesn’t avoid fighting anyone, which is fair enough, and that he’s absolutely ready to face Canelo in September.
“My manager David McWater and Split-T Management works with everybody, and I am ready, willing, and able to fight Canelo. Look at my track record, I am always willing to take on anyone,” he said.
“I stood and fought with Gennady Golovkin; I went to England to fight Billy Joe Saunders; I fought and beat Rosado, Javier Maciel, and Hugo Centeno. I see some of the guys who are in the mix, and I feel that I compare favorably to their resumes, and would definitely give Canelo a better challenge, so I would love that opportunity.”
In all candor, nobody would be much excited for Canelo-Monroe other than Monroe and his team, but the same can be said of a lot of matchups that are possible for Canelo in These Trying Times, if he is to fight on Sept. 12. Jason Quigley, for instance, says he’s been made an accepted an offer — it’s not an exclusive offer, as Canelo and Golden Boy are still asking around after Sergiy Derevyanchenko dipped to face Jermall Charlo instead, and we know that Callum Smith is still interested, as is John Ryder.
But all in all, yeah, if we’re getting into the Quigleys and Tureano Johnsons of the world, or even the Ryders, really, Monroe’s name isn’t out of place or anything, and given that he’s based in the U.S. he may be far easier to get in than Ryder, for instance. And you certainly can’t blame him for throwing his name into the mix, either.