Canelo Alvarez’s team have reportedly now offered Callum Smith $5million to fight him on September 12.
It was already known that the Mexican star is actively seeking his next opponent as he makes plans to return after missing out on his May fight because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Canelo is arguably boxing’s pound-for-pound king
Various names have been touted, but now Mike Coppinger on The Athletic’s Pug and Copp podcast has reported: “I’m hearing that Callum Smith is still the frontrunner.
“That is the fight DAZN wants, I’m told that’s the fight Canelo wants.
“From what I heard, Callum was offered $5million late last week. He’s been asking for $6m, but it doesn’t seem like they’re very far apart now.”
Callum Smith is the WBA and Ring Magazine super-middleweight champion
Regarding other rumours, Coppinger added: “Canelo is not going to fight Jason Quigley, as has been discussed [online].
“From what I’ve been told, DAZN wouldn’t even approve that fight and Canelo has no interest in it.
“The only guy I think now being discussed heavily is Callum Smith.
“Maybe John Ryder would be considered if Smith and Canelo cannot agree on the money.”
Saunders has the WBO super-middleweight belt
Canelo was initially set to face WBO super-middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders on May 2.
However, the Brit ruled himself out of contention for the rearranged September date, hence why he has now changed focus to Smith.
Regarding how the pandemic affected his training, Saunders said to The Athletic: “Every gym was closed, and my grandparents are very elderly, I live next door to them.
Canelo knocked out Sergey Kovalev last November
“There were a few [health] scares. 75 per cent of my time [was dedicated] to her, I couldn’t leave the place, I had my kids every other day…
“If they think they’re going to cut my money and cut me short, that’s not going to happen.
“Considering he’s getting $35 million, they come to me for a pay cut in September?
“They want to get short notice and a pay cut. Why not him take a pay cut?”