Joe Smith Jr. could get Canelo Alvarez fight in May if he wins tonight against Geffrard

by Dan Ambrose: WBO Light Heavyweight Champion Joe Smith Jr. stands to win a massive fight against Canelo Alvarez in May or a unification showdown against IBF/IBF champion Artur Petterbiev if he wins the night in his defense against Steve Jeffrard.

(Image credit: Mickey Williams (top ranking via Getty Images)

Smith (27-3, 21 KOs) defends against substitute opponent Geffrard (18-2, 12 KOs) in the main event on ESPN at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York.

Assuming Smith successfully defends his 175-pound WBO title against 31-year-old Giffard tonight in New York, he’s one of a small group of options for upcoming superstar Canelo on May 7.

It is believed Canelo will pick one of these fighters for his next fight this weekend at Cinco de Mayo in May:

Jermal Charlotte
Makabu member
Artur Petbiev
Dmitriy Bevol
Joe Smith Jr.

Of course, with Canelo, he can pull a name out of his hat by picking someone you least suspect. In this case, it could be Daniel Jacobs, John Ryder, Gennady Golovkin, David Benavidz or Demetrius Andrade.

However, Canelo is unlikely to choose any of these options as he is going through a belt craze phase where he is entirely driven by his need to pick up belts.

Canelo will decide

The ball is in Canelo’s court,Being the one who will decide his next opponent on May 7th, whether it’s Joe Smith, Ilunga Macapu, or perhaps Germal Charlo, Bob Arum, head of Top Rank, told Sky Sports on Alvarez.

“Canelo is the biggest attraction in boxing right now, he’s a formidable talent and a formidable fighter, and he picks his opponents in one form or another.

“He’s also trying to get the best players. Therefore, he can fight [Artur] beefHe can fight Smith, but it’s up to Canelo, and I think he’s looking forward to a fight in May,” Arum said.

It’s hard to imagine Canelo would pick the undefeated Light Heavyweight Champion Petribiev (17-0, 17K) as his next opponent on May 7th because she’s such a huge leap in class and ability from the fighters he’s been facing since 2018.

Canelo has shown a pattern in the past four years for the type of opponents he prefers to take on, and Beterbiev doesn’t fit the description given his ability.

Overall, Canelo picked the opposition who had almost no chance of beating him, and stayed away from fighters that might give him his second defeat of his career.

Beterbiev will have an excellent chance of beating Canelo, as will Benavidez and Joe Smith Jr. and Bivol. Thus, none of these fighters was chosen by the Mexican star.

Will Joe Smith Jr. enter the Canelo lottery?

“Joe Smith Jr. is fighting this weekend. He was originally scheduled to fight Callum Johnson, which I was really interested in because you have two heavy hitters in a fight that was going to end in a knockout,” boxing Chris Mannix said.

“Johnson had to go because of COVID, and you had Steve Jeffrard step in. Geffrard has won eighteen fights in a row but is a very low-profile contender.

“Not high expectations for Jeffrard to participate in this fight. What I’m kind of curious about is less of this fight but what happens next for Joe Smith because there’s going to be a lot of interesting parties at Joe Smith.”

“If you were a first class, you would probably want to try to get Joe Smith against Peterbiev to fight, which would be for three belts in the 175-pound class. If you were Canelo and Joe Smith had this fight, would he enter a sweepstakes?

“I doubt it,” Mannix said on Canelo, “but he has a light heavyweight belt, and he’s American.”

“Maybe you can properly market that fight, especially if you’re willing to take the fight to New York. Daniel Jacobs is there and fighting in February. [against John Ryder].

“This is someone who was talked about between these two men [Smith and Jacobs] For the past two weeks or so.

“Assuming Joe Smith gets through this fight relatively unscathed, what do you see in the future for him in the light heavyweight division?”

Beterbiev option to fight Smith next

“The obvious fight and fight that people wanted to see was Joe Smith versus Artur Petterbiev,” Keith Edick said. “Peterbiev is the biggest knockout player in boxing among the world champions, he defeated each professional opponent with 17 fights and 17 knockouts.

“This fight should be possible because they both are jointly promoted by Top Rank. The way it was explained to me, Joe Smith was not happy with the financial offer he received to fight Peterbiev.

“He wants more money to fight. If he gets that money, he will [Beterbiev vs. Smith Jr] Fighting can be combined. It’d be a big event in Montreal at the Peel Center or at Madison Square Garden or you could put it on Long Island.

“That would be perfect because Joe Smith would attract a lot of fans from Long Island to fight. So you can make some money for this fight whether you put it in Canada or New York.

Leave a Comment