Canelo Alvarez defeated Daniel Jacobs via unanimous decision in their highly anticipated middleweight title unification. With the win, Alvarez added Jacobs’ IBF belt to his WBC, WBA, IBO, Ring and lineal middleweight titles.
The hard-hitting Jacobs was seen as Canelo’s toughest test in the 160-pound weight class after the Mexican had already defeated longtime unified middleweight king Gennady Golovkin last year. But while Jacobs gave Alvarez a challenge, it wasn’t enough to stop Alvarez from claiming another world title belt.
The 28-year old Mexican easily outboxed Jacobs and even had the better of him during their inside exchanges. Alvarez was on the front foot and never let off the gas pedal as he pursued Jacobs throughout the fight. Jacobs had every physical advantage over Alvarez but during the fight, he was reduced to someone that was just taller and longer.
Alvarez victory put him on the cusp of becoming undisputed middleweight champion. It also sets him up for a possible trilogy fight with Golovkin. There are many theories on what Canelo would do next and in this article, we will talk about them.
Canelo has stated many times before that his main goal for 2019 is to unify the middleweight division. Beating Golovkin gave him the WBC and WBA belts. His win over Jacobs added the IBF belt to his trophy case. With three belts now residing in Canelo’s residence, will he go for the fourth?
The WBO champion is Demetrius Andrade. Andrade won the WBO belt after Billie Joe Saunders vacated the title before he could be stripped after failing a VADA drug test. Andrade was supposed to challenge Saunders but instead, he ended up facing Namibia’s Walter Kautondokwa last October.
Since winning the belt, Andrade has defended it successfully against Artur Akavov last January and he is set to defend it again this coming June 29, 2019 against Maciej Sulecki. It’s a very good possibility that Alvarez would challenge the winner of this bout with the undisputed middleweight title on the line.
Triple G Trilogy
The next most probable bout for Alvarez would be a third fight with Gennady Golovkin. Alvarez and Golovkin fought to a controversial draw in September 2017. Many thought Golovkin won that bout but the referees ruled it as a draw. The pair rematched a year later and Alvarez won by majority decision, a decision still questioned by many pundits to this day. DAZN has already said that it is very much interested in doing a third fight.
Golovkin is set to face unknown Steve Rolls on June 8 in his DAZN debut. Many felt that Triple G purposely signed with DAZN so that a third fight between him and Canelo wouldn’t be too tricky to book. The choice of fighting a no-name in Rolls has led experts to believe that DAZN is trying to marinate a third fight between the two possibly later this year.
The first bout between Canelo and Triple G generated 1.3M PPV buys for HBO. Their rematch fetched fewer but was still impressive enough to hit the 1.1M PPV buy mark. With the storylines even juicier this time around, the third bout would probably be the richest of the three. For Canelo, DAZN and Triple G, this would be the richest fight they can take next.
Winning Another Weight Class
Andrade and Golovkin are the ideal choices for Canelo. Andrade would fulfill him inside the ring while Golovkin would fill his bank account with cash. However, if for one reason or another either fight could not be booked, there are other options that Alvarez may be looking at right now.
Remember that Canelo ventured into the 168-pound division last December when he took on the bigger and taller Rocky Fielding? Well that was easy work for Canelo but if he wants to win another weight class, then he may have a fight waiting for him at 168. WBA champion Callum Smith called out Canelo at the height of his Rocky Fielding preparations. Smith was willing to go to Vegas to fight the Mexican star.
The 29-year old Briton is the brother of Liam Smith, whom Canelo beat and dethroned ( for the WBO 154 pound title ) in 2016. While Liam was right in Canelo’s alley at 154, Callum is one of the best fighters at 168 pounds and would provide Canelo some challenge not just because of his skill but because of the weight class.
Then there is Canadian banger David Lemieux whom Golden Boy was eyeing for Canelo several times in the past. Lemieux was thought to be the front-runner to fight Canelo last May 4th but after he was hospitalized last December for weight-cutting issues and succumbing to injury while preparing for his fight with John Ryder, the promoters reportedly pulled the trigger on the Danny Jacobs fight.
Australian Jeff Horn has also called out Alvarez. While Horn has fought mostly at 147 pounds, he said he was willing to move up in weight to challenge Canelo. Fighting someone much smaller is nothing new for Alvarez. It can be recalled that he fought Amir Khan in a high profile fight in 2016. With Horn a big star in Australia, a fight between the Hornet and Canelo would be considered high-profile and would mean big money for the promoters.
Then there is MMA fighter Patricio Freire who is coming off a first round knockout win over Michael Chandler at Bellator 221 last May 11, 2019. The Brazilian Pitbull became a two-division Bellator champion with that victory and instead of a rematch with Chandler, he is talking about fighting Canelo in a boxing match.
Canelo’s Options Are Limitless
That fight may seem like a wild dream because it hasn’t been brought up to DAZN, which promotes Alvarez. Nor has Freire formally discussed it with Bellator President Scott Coker. But given the commercial success of Mayweather vs McGregor in 2018, who knows what these companies are going to book next.
You see, the options are limitless for Canelo right now. With his win over Danny Jacobs, the world is in the palm of his hands. The Danny Jacobs bout was only the third in his monster 5-year 11-fight $365M deal with DAZN which means DAZN will have a say on his next seven fights.
Alvarez is only 28-years old and with Floyd Mayweather Jr. retired, he is the new pay-per-view king of boxing. His ability to draw PPV buys makes him the most lucrative fighter in the sport today and the biggest cash cow as well. Every move he makes is well-calculated and has a reason. After all, DAZN can’t go wrong with their $365M investment. So regardless of who will be his next opponent, you can be sure that it’s part of a grand plan by his promoters.