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Canelo vs Murata? Callum Smith ‘shocked and gutted’ says Joe Gallagher

"We can safely say that Canelo is doing what Floyd Mayweather did..."

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Canelo KO'd Kovalev in his previous fight

Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez's choice of opponents has been criticised by Callum Smith's trainer Joe Gallagher after they missed out on the "golden ticket" opportunity to fight him.

Mexican superstar Canelo is now reportedly likely to face Ryota Murata in Japan on May 2, the traditional Cinco de Mayo celebration day in Mexico.

WBA super-middleweight champion Smith and WBO title-holder Billy Joe Saunders had hoped Canelo might target their belts.

"We can safely say that Canelo is doing what Floyd Mayweather did - he fights who he pleases and everyone just does what he says," Smith's trainer Gallagher told Sky Sports.

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Callum Smith featured in 2019's best KOs!

"Callum will be shocked and gutted, as Billy Joe will be.

"Everybody was waiting for the golden ticket but it has gone to Murata.

"I don't think this will go down well in Mexico. We've been there with Liam Smith and everybody wanted Canelo vs Callum Smith. Even in Arizona the Mexican people were pushing for Canelo vs Callum.

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"In September Canelo will have to fight a Callum or a Gennadiy Golovkin.

"The inquest will take place in Manchester today."

Promoter Eddie Hearn tweeted on Wednesday about Canelo's plans: "No discussion yet on Billy or Callum."

Callum Smith throws a right shot at John Ryder during their WBA World, WBC Diamond & Ring Magazine Super-Middleweight Title Fight at M&S Bank Arena on November 23, 2019 in Liverpool, England.
Image: Smith beat John Ryder last time out
Image: Murata is leading the race to face Canelo

Canelo has won major belts in four divisions, he came through two classic middleweight fights with Golovkin then most recently knocked out Sergey Kovalev to win the WBO light-heavyweight title.

Since the sole loss of his career to Mayweather in 2013, nine of Canelo's 12 fights have been in Las Vegas but he now seems set to head outside of the US and Mexico for the first time.

Japan's Murata has a 16-2 record - both he and Canelo hold versions of the WBA middleweight title.

Asked if Smith could fight Saunders in a unification fight, Gallagher revealed they had other initial plans: "We were already putting things in place to fight in April in America."

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