Smith eager to take Saunders spot

03 July 2020 02:37:18 GMTPlus10

Callum Smith is ready to take on Canelo Alvarez in September after WBO super-middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders backed out of the date, according to Smith’s manager Joe Gallagher.

Saunders was due to take on the Mexican but has ruled himself out of the fight, citing that he didn’t feel he had sufficient time to prepare for the bout.

Canelo has got no excuse now but to fight Callum Smith.

Joe Gallagher

Smith, who holds the WBA title, was believed to be the other opponent under consideration and Gallagher is convinced the unbeaten Liverpudlian in primed and ready to go.

The 30-year-old has won all 27 of his professional after winning silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, and 19 of his successes have come within the distance.

Anthony Dirrell and Sergiy Derevyanchenko have also been mentioned as opponents for Alvarez, who has been a world champion at four different weights, but Gallagher says other fighters should get in the queue.

He told Sky Sports: "It's supposed to have been a two-horse race wasn't it.

"Now he (Saunders) is pulling himself out of it, Canelo has got no excuse now, but to fight Callum Smith.

"Callum is in the gym, he is training, he's been back a couple of weeks now, and if that date and opportunity is put to Callum Smith, he's ready to go. He'll take that and I can't see no reason why Canelo - when they said all along it was between the two of them - Billy Joe Saunders is out, let's do Callum.

"Callum is the No 1 at 168. He's the Ring (magazine) champ, Canelo is the superstar. Let's just go ahead and do it."

Meanwhile, Dillian Whyte is 1.25 to win his next fight against Alexander Povetkin, who is a 3.75 chance.

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