THE next opponent for Canelo Alvarez appears to have been narrowed down to two candidates.

Earlier in the week it looked like the Mexican would pursue a fight against Badou Jack in Saudi Arabia. Fighting the Swedish-born American would represent a jump to cruiserweight, the fifth weight which Alvarez would fight in. Jack currently holds the WBC strap in the 20olbs division.

Skill Challenge Entertainment, who promote Jack, were having dialogue with Canelo’s team. Head of Boxing at SCE Amer Abdullah appeared optimistic.

“I’m hoping that the talks progress and I think we have a lot of the negotiations and terms met with everybody satisfied. There are one or two more sticking points that I’m hoping won’t turn out to be sticking points. But Canelo is a very established guy and his team know what they’re doing,” he told Boxing Scene.

Following Canelo’s most recent win in May against John Ryder he told the 50,000 crowd at the Estadio Akron that a rematch against Dmitry Bivol was his preferred option for September. However, since then. the Russian light-heavyweight’s team have declared their interest in a four-belt clash against Artur Beterbiev. The 38-year-old defends his three trinkets against Callum Smith next month in Canada.

ESPN Knockout have reported that Jermell Charlo is now the preferred opponent for Canelo.

The American would move from middleweight to super-middleweight if he was to take on the 32-year-old. During an interview with Showtime in March Charlo made it clear he would happily go to 168lbs.

“Would Jermall Charlo come up to 168 pounds and be a super-middleweight? Yeah, I would. Let’s see what they do.

“I always had the opportunity to fight either one of those guys, but [those fights] never happened.

“At this point, where Jermall Charlo gonna go? Of course I want Canelo.”

The Houston native, owner of the WBC belt at 160lbs, is unbeaten in 32 fights, but fans have been waiting for his 33rd since he beat Juan Macias Montiel in June 2021. A back injury and personal issues have kept him out of the ring for the last two years.

ESPN Knockout say that “Several options were analysed, from middleweight to cruiserweight” for Canelo and the signs are now pointing to Charlo whose advisor Al Haymon recently had a meeting in Cleveland with Team Canelo.