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Canelo Alvarez closing in on deal with Callum Smith?

Payne- Canelo Matchup With Callum Smith "As It Should Be"

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Canelo Alvarez closing in on deal with Callum Smith?

Ed Mulholland- Matchroom USA

Canelo Alvarez closing in on deal with Callum Smith?

After weeks of speculation it appears that one of the top fighters in the sport has finally agreed to his next opponent. Now, the question is: can Golden Boy Promotions and Matchroom Boxing finalize the money for Canelo Alvarez to battle England’s Callum Smith?

A report by Mike Coppinger, boxing insider for the Athletic, said late Tuesday night that Alvarez and Golden Boy have made a lucrative $5 million offer to  the WBA super middleweight champion to be Canelo’s next fight in September:

Reportedly, Eddie Hearn and Matchroom boxing, who represent Smith, are still holding out for more money with the clock ticking on being able to finalize and promote the fight for the September 12th date in Las Vegas. That date is part of Mexican Independence weekend and is currently being held Buy Golden Boy and DAZN streaming service to feature Alvarez.

On the broadcasting rights front: Talksport in the U.K. reported Wednesday that one of the bigger points being negotiated between the two promotions is for DAZN to be able to exclusively stream the fight, not only in the United States but in Britain. This would be a switch for this fight from Matchroom using Sky Sports in the U.K. as its television outlet throughout the past few years.

As we wrote in March just before the Covid 19 pandemic shut down of boxing, DAZN had announced expansion plans from the nine countries that it’s currently in, to hopes to be in some 200 countries later this year and next with their sports streaming service.

DAZN is using Alvarez’s star power as a four division World Champion and arguably, the premier name in the sport, to help bolster that expansion.

Further, DAZN chairman John Skipper, met face to face with Alvarez in March and got a previous commitment from Canelo to fight and Gennady Golovkin for a third time late in 2021. However, worldwide pandemic shut down everything this Spring and Summer.  So, it’s more realistic that a Canelo – GGG battle (worth millions and millions in subscriber revenue to DAZN) will probably be in early 2021 fight.

Alvarez, 53-1-2, was last in action last November, when he beat WBO Light Heavyweight champ Sergey Kovalev by TKO in 11 rounds to capture his fourth world title in four divisions. Alvarez has made clear since then that doesn’t intend to fight anymore at 175 lb.

As for Smith, he previously commented in February about the possibility of squaring off with Canelo someday and advantage he might have. He told Sky Sports then,

“He’s (Canelo) a very, very good fighter. But, I think stylelisticly, styles make fights. I think I’m a bit of a bad fight for him… I just think I’m 6’3. I’m a lot bigger than him. I can punch and I think just, style-wise, I’m not ideal to fight.”

Smith, who is 27-0, won the World Boxing Super Series 168 lb. tournament in 2018. However, he was unimpressive in his most latest title defense in November in his hometown of Liverpool, England. That came against with journeyman contender John Ryder, who pushed him to a 12-round decision.

And, as we wrote then, Smith tactically chose to lay back on the ropes against a smaller and lesser talented fighter making things much more difficult than they probably had to be.

There is also a “family revenge angle,” to this proposed bout, as Smith’s older brother Liam battled Canelo for the WBO Jr. Middleweight Championship back in September of 2016. And, Alvarez knocked out the elder Smith in 9 rounds that night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Canelo is clearly the drawing card for this bout world wide and now, we wait to see if Hearn, Matchroom and Smith lock it in or bungle the chance at the biggest fight and payday of his career.

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A veteran broadcaster of over 25 years, T.J. has been a fight fan longer than that! He’s the host of the “Big Fight Weekend” podcast and will go “toe to toe” with anyone who thinks that Marvin Hagler beat Sugar Ray Leonard or that Tyson, Lennox Lewis or Deontay Wilder could have beaten Ali!

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