For Years the welterweight division was controlled by one fighter as 147 pounders would await the ‘golden ticket’; a chance to fight ‘Pretty Boy’ Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather rather reminiscent of the current situation at 160 and 168 with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. With the days counting down to May 2, the pressure is building up on Oscar De la Hoya and Golden Boy to announce Canelo’s Cinco De Mayo weekend opponent. With Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders seen as the most likely options, will the ‘Golden Ticket’ fall into the hands of the mighty Liverpudlian or the travelling warrior?
With Both boxers already turning down offers to face ‘Canelo’, some fans believe that this is just an attempt at raising each boxer’s profile as none of them actually want the fight and are not prepared to put their unbeaten records on the line. This could be just another popularity boost by Hearn, both fighters promoter, in an attempt to maximise the potential revenue from an all British pay-per-view unification at Anfield between these pugilists. It is also believed that Golden Boy has reached out to 4 other fighters regarding the fight and is threatening to move on if they don’t accept a less than desirable offer by Monday.
After November 23 many people will be of the opinion that Callum ‘Mundo’ Smith does not deserve the opportunity to face Alvarez next due to what the majority of fans saw as Smith receiving a ‘gift hometown decision’ against his mandatory John Ryder at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool. However, no one can question his gigantic physical stature, destructive power, and awkward style. That will definitely be enough to cause the Mexican superstar problems but is it enough to dethrone what many consider as the ‘pound for pound’ king in boxing?
Billy Joe Saunders’s latest performance wasn’t too amazing either as it lacked the exhibition of the vast skill set we know he possesses. Saunders would prove to be an entirely different problem for Alvarez with his Southpaw stance, slick movement and ‘hit and not be hit’ style. With a world-class jab and quick combinations, he can give ‘Canelo’ all sorts of difficulties as his style and skills set are perfectly made to challenge the Mexican star. Although it would be difficult for Saunders to match Canelo punch for punch as smith could as he lacks the physical strength and power with only 13 knockouts against low-class opposition in his 29 bouts with his best wins coming by points decisions.
Nevertheless, after both men maintaining an unbeaten record of 29-0 (Saunders) and 27-0 (Smith) respectively there can be no arguments with any of these warriors receiving a chance to test themselves at the highest level and with both fights proving to be exciting potential clashes we can now only wait to see who wins the lottery; gets the opportunity and subsequently the biggest payday of their career’s.