Lem Satterfield

Alvarez’s next opponent narrows to two

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Mexican WBC junior middleweight beltholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will make his next defense on Sept. 15 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas against one of two opponents likely on either Showtime or Showtime Pay Per View.

Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer declined to name the two favored fighters, but said that they were named during a decision that was made on Tuesday following a meeting with Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 knockouts) and his representative, Chepo Reynoso.

“We had a great meeting yesterday with Canelo and with his manager and co-trainer, Chepo Reynoso, and we narrowed the list down to two names. I have to see which one of the two works out better,” said Schaefer.

“I started negotiating with these two names yesterday, and I’m hopeful that in the next few days that I will be able to conclude those negotiations and then announce the opponent and which television arrangements will be in place. It’s going to be a big, big event.”

Alvarez was originally slated to meet former welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz (29-4-2, 22 KOs) before Ortiz suffered a broken jaw during a Showtime-televised ninth-round knockout loss to Josesito Lopez (29-4, 18 KOs) at The Staples Center on June 23.

As part of an operation to stablize Ortiz’s right jaw on Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles , Ortiz’s mouth has been wired shut and both a metal plate and screws have been inserted.

It has been widely speculated, as well, that left-handed WBA “regular” titleholder Austin Trout (25-0, 14 KOs) and IBF beltholder Cornelius Bundrage (31-4, 18 KOs) are considerations for Alvarez.

Alvarez was at ringside at the Home Depot Center, in Carson, Calif., on June 2 when Trout  defended his belt by unanimous decision over Delvin Rodriguez.

Bundrage has Saturday night’s Showtime-televised rematch in defense of his belt with ex-beltholder Cory Spinks, whom Bundrage dethroned by fifth-round stoppage in August of 2010.

Bundrage’s manager, Manny Steward, informed RingTV.com that he expects to meet with officials from Golden Bly Promotions on Thursday.

“I’m Bundrage’s full manager and that nobody else was involved if they wanted to make a deal. I just told them that I had no other partner and no other promoter. I’m totally free, so we’re in a good position. Since Golden Boy is promoting the fight, we’re all expecting to meet when I arrive tomorrow,” said Steward.

“We’re just trying to get past Spinks. So our plans are to fight Canelo after this. That’s the fight that we’re trying to make. I think that everybody is waiting on what happens on Saturday.”

Bundrage said he is encouraged.

“I’ve heard it from my manager, Manny Steward. He’s heard it, too. I’ve been hearing that a whole lot. I’ve been hearing it from the internet. It’s not pressure on me, as far as this fight. I’m just going to go out there and do my best. We’ll just see after Saturday what happens,” said Bundrage.

“Then, if the fight with me and Canelo happens, I’m also just going to go out there and do my best. I’m not looking past Cory Spinks, but I’m definitely looking to take care of business on Saturday. After that, me and Canelo can go at it. It will be Golden Boy Jr. versus the Black Rocky.”

But Spinks has other ideas

“Of course I would want to be considered to fight [Alvarez,] but I don’t want to talk about that right now. I’m focused on my task at hand, first, which is winning on Saturday night,” said Spinks, 34.

“This fight is big, but I’m not worried about him having taken my belt. I just have to go in there and handle my business and that’s what I’m going to do on Saturday night.”

The loss to Lopez was considered an upset for Ortiz, foiling the planned clash with Alvarez, although Ortiz’s manager, Rolando Arellano, said that he believes that Ortiz would “absolutely” consider the rematch which was worked into the contract with Lopez.

Meanwhile, Lopez’s promoter, Dan Goossen, has hinted that his fighter would welcome a shot at Alvarez, despite the fact that Lopez was fighting at a career-high 144 3/4 pounds against Ortiz.

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com

 

 

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