Canelo vs Smith: Luis Ortiz off card, Billy Joe Saunders possibly on

By Scott Christ

Luis Ortiz won’t be on the September 17 undercard, but Billy Joe Saunders might be.

Heavyweight Luis Oriz, who holds the WBA interim title, will officially not be defending his belt against Alexander Ustinov on the September 17 Canelo-Smith pay-per-view card from AT&T Stadium in Texas. ESPN.com reports that Ortiz (25-0, 22 KO) had agreed to the fight but then asked for more money. Golden Boy is trying to work something out with him, but the fight won’t be happening next month.

On the other hand, Billy Joe Saunders may be on that show, and if he is, it would mean that he would also have a deal to face Canelo Alvarez in December. Saunders (23-0, 12 KO) is the WBO middleweight titleholder, winning the title from Andy Lee by majority decision last December.

However, the 26-year-old has yet to make a defense of the title. He was offered a fight with Gennady Golovkin earlier this year, but turned it down. He was then set to face Max Bursak, but suffered an injury, canceling that fight.

If he fights on September 17 and wins, and Alvarez beats Liam Smith, they would meet for Saunders’ WBO belt in December on HBO, which to be entirely fair is a very legitimate official move to 160 pounds for Alvarez if it happens. The fight would also be Saunders’ first outside of the United Kingdom.

Source:: Bad Left Hook