Eddie Hearn believes Callum Smith is Canelo Alvarez’s No.1 pick for opponent

Smith holds the WBC (Super) belt (Picture: Getty)

Eddie Hearn has insisted Callum Smith is Canelo Alvarez’s preferred next opponent, but admitted the proposed 12 September fight date is ‘dead’.

The Matchroom boss has offered several of his fighters to Golden Boy Promotions as Alvarez’s potential dance partner, with John Ryder and Billy Joe Saunders in the mix.

Saunders ruled himself out of contention, but Smith – the WBA (Super) and Ring magazine super-middleweight champion – is currently training for a September clash with Alvarez despite the fact he is yet to receive an offer.

‘I’m almost certain that Canelo Alvarez’s first choice is Callum Smith, of the people available,’ Hearn told Boxing Social.

‘Because it would make him the legitimate No.1 168-pounder if he beat him. I know Canelo loves challenges.

‘He loves to fight the best and [fight] champions. But also Callum Smith is expensive.

‘He’s the Ring magazine champion and WBA (Super) champion.

Alvarez plans to fight in September (Picture: Getty)

‘Of course he’s going to be expensive. There’s no way around that.’

Saunders said one of his reasons for turning down a fight with Alvarez was he had to take a significant pay cut to travel to America during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hearn has repeatedly said the pandemic will force the entirety of boxing to make budget adjustments.

Behind-closed-door events have been going on across the globe, but Hearn thinks the possibility of Alvarez fighting on 12 September is slim.

‘We have to really say September 12 is dead,’ he said. ‘And it’s difficult because Callum Smith doesn’t want to be training as he is if September 12th is not happening.

‘And there’s no confirmation of that. I’m asking people at DAZN, but the generally feeling is unlikely now.

Smith last fought in November (Picture: Getty)

‘But when will it be? You don’t want to taper back in training and then say we’re going September 22nd!

‘As difficult as it can be, fighters can say to themselves the 12th’s not happening, but maybe the 22nd will.

‘It’s not my business, but it would be an honour for one of my guys to get another shot at Canelo Alvarez.’

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