Canelo Alvarez is set to defend his WBC and WBA super middleweight titles Feb. 27 on DAZN, facing WBC mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim in Miami.
But the bigger fight people are already talking about is a unification with WBO titleholder Billy Joe Saunders, which has a target date of May 8.
Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KO) has to beat Yildirim, of course, for that to even happen. If Yildirim shocks the world, the whole division goes into reset. Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn — who is working with Canelo on a two-fight deal, which would include Saunders — confirms that Canelo-Saunders is there in principle, not fully done, but that this is the idea.
“That fight’s agreed in principle, we’re finalizing all the details at the moment,” Hearn said. “I don’t think Canelo wants to announce anything or do anything until he gets the victory over Yildirim. I know it’s a fight he’s expected to win, but he’s focused on that.
“If he wins that fight, I do believe you’ll see him fight Billy Joe Saunders next. We’ll probably have Billy there that night in Miami to see if we can get an official announcement.”
Saunders (30-0, 14 KO) would be the next step for Canelo, who wants to claim all four titles in the super middleweight division in 2021.
Billy Joe will get the first serious crack at stopping Canelo’s plan, and if he fails, the IBF title would be the last one outside of Canelo’s grasp. That one is of course currently held by Caleb Plant, who may or may not wait until the latter part of 2021 to return in a potential big-time fight with Alvarez, fresh off a Jan. 30 win over Caleb Truax.