By: Sean Crose
“Spoke with @Canelo@CANELOTEAM and the team today,” Promoter Eddie Hearn tweeted on Friday. “Saul is focused on a return to the ring in November. More news soon.” And with that, all expectations of Canelo fighting in September as planned are put to bed. Canelo likes to fight on Mexican Independence Day weekend. This year, however, he simply won’t be able to. “September 18 became tighter and tighter ,” Hearn told ESPN, “and we made the decision today to focus on November.” An opponent for Canelo has yet to be named, though there are many options out there, as Canelo is arguably the most popular fighter on earth.
Canelo was supposed to fight IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant in September, but matters fell through in the negotiation stages late last month. That fight was always going to be tough to make, as Plant fights under the tight knit PBC banner while Canelo is essentially a free agent, though he is aligned with Matchroom Boxing honcho Hearn. It’s hard enough to get a fight made, much less one involving one of the world’s most beloved and lucrative athletes. The fact that a Canelo-Plant match fell through, then, should probably be a surprise to no one.
Still, it is frustrating to see fights be cancelled and pushed back as frequently as they are. It’s a wonder that Manny Pacquiao’s challenge of Errol Spence is still on the fast track to happening. The way things have been going, one would think that impending bout would have gone the way of Joshua-Fury by now, or at least the way of Fury-Wilder 3, which has met more roadblocks than a car speeding out of control off the interstate and into a road repair site. Canelo, at least, has been facing intense competition over the past few years.
Before defeating Billy Joe Saunders this past May, the Mexican star has bested Callum Smith, Sergey Kovalev, Daniel Jacobs, and Rocky Fielding in the quite recent past…an impressive lineup. Throw in last February’s wipeout of Avni Yildirim and it’s clear Canelo is on a hot streak, one which he intended staying on by facing Plant. Fans of the fighter shouldn’t fret too much, however, for it appears light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol might be on deck next.
There are those who also suspect a match with Plant may still come to fruition.