Eddie Hearn reveals who Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders could fight next, explains why it won’t be each other and Canelo remains an option
Billy Joe Saunders and Callum Smith are both set to fight towards the end of this year, but not against one another.
Promoter Eddie Hearn initially stated that if neither man were to face Canelo Alvarez next, he wanted to pit them in a WBA and WBO super-middleweight unification.
However, he has since scheduled three pay-per-view bouts towards the end of this year and now insists there is no space for a fourth.
Hearn told iFL TV: “We’re going pay-per-view October 31, pay-per-view November 21 and pay-per-view December 12.
“That’s a lot of pay-per-views. So there’s just no room for another pay-per-view. Couple that in with no crowd and it’s impossible that fight.”
It appears Oleksandr Usyk vs Derek Chisora, Alexander Povetkin vs Dillian Whyte and Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev have scuppered the possiblity of Billy Joe Saunders vs Callum Smith for the time being.
At present, Canelo’s situation is up in the air as he has filed a lawsuit against his promoter Golden Boy and broadcaster DAZN.
This keeps him out of action for the time being, though if their dispute is resolved he could still fight in 2020. Mediation talks remain ongoing.
Meanwhile, the WBC super-middleweight title is vacant with Canelo ordered to face Turkey’s Avni Yildirim for the belt.
This bout appears unlikely due to the Mexican’s current status and Hearn sees it as a potential opportunity for Smith to jump in and pick up another title.
He continued: “Billy and Callum – they’re still in the mix for Canelo.
“If Canelo turns round and sorts out his situation he’s gonna fight this year and he wants to fight one of them two.
“So we’ll see, but we’re not reliant on that anymore. We’re gonna move forward and make our own decisions.
“For Callum, if he doesn’t get Canelo, until crowds come back and there’s a PPV slot to fight Billy Joe Saunders, he needs to have another fight.
“What we really want is to fight Yildirim in a unification for the WBC and the WBA.
“That’s essentially what we’ve been promised and what we’ve been writing to [WBC president] Mauricio Sulaiman about for the last couple of weeks.
“We believe it should be Callum Smith aganinst Yildirim for the title and Callum Smith’s been trying to win that WBC title for years.
“It means a lot to him so hopefully Mauricio agrees with us and we can make that fight – subject to Canelo not fighting him, which I don’t believe he will.
“In an ideal world it’ll be Callum Smith fighting Yildirim, probably in December, and then Billy Joe Saunders defending, probably November 28, and then maybe it’s a three-belt fight next.”
As to who Saunders could fight, Hearn said: “[Fedor] Chudinov, Martin Murray, Rocky Fielding?
“John Ryder would be a great fight, I’m not sure that’ll happen. I think John will take his WBA final eliminator shot.
“People are always gonna moan, so I’d rather a Brit got the opportunity, especially at this time when travel restrictions are in place and we can make things a lot easier.
“And you can get a Brit who can go out and try and win a world title by beating Billy Joe Saunders.”