The near term plan for Canelo Alvarez seemed if not set in stone, then headed that way, as the Mexican drawing powerhouse is slated to fight Liam Smith in Texas Sept 17.
On that card, at the home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, the redhead was likely going to have WBO middleweight titlist BJ Saunders fighting underneath him, against gate keeper Gabe Rosado.
In a perfect world, the 47-1-1 Canelo would beat the Brit Smith, (23-0-1) then try his hand at 160, against Saunders, were he to better Rosado.
Golden Boy exec Eric Gomez was working this plan and traction was solid. He'd been back and forth with veteran Brit dealmaker Frank Warren, repping Saunders. “It was going well,” Gomez said.
And then it wasn't.
Warren seemed keen on the plan and brought an offer to Saunders. Who promptly splashed a bucket of cold water on this best laid scenario.
“It is what it is,” said Gomez, who noted that he didn't know what if any other path Saunders wanted or wants to pursue. “The fight could happen” at some point, he's not closing the door on it, or taking it personally, Gomez said.
Saunders showed fighting spirit on Twitter, hurling volleys–some of it really quite harsh and personal, in fact–at ESPN's Dan Rafael and all US middleweights, but gave no hint as to his near term future.
His willingness to beef on Twitter hasn't matched his ambition to duke it out in ring, to be sure. He won his strap off Andy Lee in December, in a fight that was no barn burner, to be mild, and hasn't tangled since.
Gomez said that Golden Boy is now in no rush to activate a Plan B, to sub in for the proposed Saunders-Rosado support bout. “We will see what happens in the Canelo versus Smith fight, and go from there,” he said.
My take: Saunders (23-0) is drawing severe scorn on social media. Understandable, as he's Tyson on there, but less of a savage when it comes to signing for real fights, as he's now steered clear of fights with Gennady Golovkin and Alvarez. Maybe he will prove all naysayers wrong and pull rabbits out of his hat. But as of today, he's coming off as an “all hat, no cattle” type. Texans will know what that means.
Follow Woods on Twitter @Woodsy1069 and check out his Everlast podcast, TALKBOX.