Middleweight world titlist Demetrius Andrade's campaign to get unified world champion Canelo Alvarez into the boxing ring with him just may have worked.
Eric Gomez, the president of Alvarez promoter Golden Boy Promotions, exchanged messages with Andrade promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing on Tuesday and then spoke to him on the telephone on Wednesday to gauge Andrade's interest in facing Alvarez on Sept. 14, the Mexican Independence Day weekend on which Alvarez's next fight is planned.
That is the fight that Andrade has wanted. He said it repeatedly before scoring a first-round knockdown and rolling to a shutout victory over Polish contender Maciej Sulecki to retain his 160-pound belt for the second time on Saturday night in a homecoming fight at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island, and he reiterated his desire for that bout after the fight. Now he might get it.
"I spoke with Eric Gomez and [Golden Boy matchmaker] Robert Diaz and they asked if Demetrius would be available to fight Canelo in September," Hearn told ESPN on Wednesday. "The answer is a big yes and although I don't think we are first choice, it's the undisputed fight and one Demetrius would be 100 percent ready for. We will see what happens over the next few days."
Gomez acknowledged the discussion with Hearn but said Alvarez also has other options.
"Yes, I had a conversation with Eddie. I've had conversations with few people about opponents. There are a few options out there for Canelo," Gomez told ESPN. "We're checking out everything. Canelo has a few options and we're exploring all of the options and will make a decision soon."
Gomez said Andrade was a "viable opponent," adding that "Canelo wants to fight the best and we're giving him a few options so he can make a final decision. He's in the loop on everything."
Gomez said Alvarez trainer Eddy Reynoso and his father, Alvarez manager and assistant trainer Chepo Reynoso, watched Andrade-Sulecki on Saturday night and gave the thumbs-up to pursue a possible fight with Andrade (28-0, 17 KOs), a 31-year-old southpaw, who, like Alvarez, is affiliated with broadcaster DAZN, making a deal relatively easy to make.
"There's interest," Gomez said.
Golden Boy and Hearn have a history of making deals, including for Alvarez bouts. They were able to make deals for his last two fights, when Alvarez faced Daniel Jacobs in a title unification bout on May 4 and Rocky Fielding in a secondary super middleweight title fight in December.
The Alvarez and Andrade camps both would view the fight between the two as being for the undisputed middleweight world title, although technically it would not be.
Andrade holds one of the four major belts and Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs), 28, of Mexico, held three of them but then was stripped last week by the WBC, which said it was "elevating" him to a new designation called "franchise champion" while also elevating interim titlist Jermall Charlo to the organization's world titleholder. Charlo made his first defense by routing Brandon Adams by lopsided decision on Saturday night.
Nonetheless, Alvarez-Andrade would still be a major title unification fight. But Andrade is not the only one in the running to get the money fight with boxing's biggest attraction.
This week Golden Boy, according to multiple sources, extended an offer to light heavyweight world titlist Sergey Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KOs) to defend his belt against Alvarez, who would move up two weight classes for the fight. Kovalev's team would have to work out some sort of arrangement to bypass a mandatory defense against Anthony Yarde due to take place later this summer.
Most assumed Alvarez would face former unified world champion Gennady Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs) for the third time in September and their camps have been talking. But there have been issues, including Golovkin's resistance to again fighting in Las Vegas, where he feels like he got a raw deal in a draw and loss in their first two bouts. Hearn-promoted super middleweight titlist Callum Smith (26-0, 19 KOs) has also been mentioned.