Canelo Alvarez close to agreeing fight with Billy Joe Saunders in May showdown if Mexican takes care of Avni Yildirim

BILLY JOE SAUNDERS’ dream match against Canelo Alvarez is ‘close’ to being agreed, says Eddie Hearn.

The two super-middleweights agreed to fight last May before the Covid-19 pandemic scuppered it.

After being unable to resurrect a deal for late last year, the pair both returned to ring in December in separate bouts.

Saunders retained his WBO super-middleweight title by defeating Martin Murray before Canelo eased past Callum Smith to claim the WBA and WBC super-middleweight championships.

The Mexican icon is now set to get his WBC mandatory Avni Yildirim done and dusted on February 27 before setting his sights on the division’s other belts.

Reports have emerged Hearn has sealed a two-fight deal with Canelo to stage the Yildirim clash and then Saunders on May 8 – if the latter agrees terms.

Now Hearn has admitted the Brit’s crack at Canelo is almost sealed.

He told The Athletic’s Pug and Copp Podcast: “The path is really clear for Billy Joe Saunders to fight Canelo Alvarez.

“We’ve just got to try and agree a deal with him to do that.

“We are at a stage now where we don’t have the guarantees of the major gates and a lot of fighters are taking less money.

“That’s not really a conversation that you enjoy having with Billy Joe Saunders.

“He feels that he can win the fight, but he also wants to be rewarded for the fight, I understand.

“So we’ve got to try and reach a deal with him, which we’re close to doing.”

Hearn added: “He really needs that fight too, but he’s not just gonna take it by any means necessary.

“But if Billy believes he wins that fight, which I believe he thinks he does, and I think he’s got a great shot in the fight, then he needs to take the opportunity.

“Hopefully we can get him over the line for that fight on Cinco de Mayo weekend.”

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