Currently, as the Pound for Pound king of boxing, Canelo Alvarez has the power and the opportunity to freely choose the rivals he wants to fight. That is the hardest part: to be chosen by Canelo. Nevertheless, there is a boxer who has publicly stated he is interested in other fights above that of Alvarez: Joe Smith Jr.

Joe Smith Jr, 27-3-0 (21 KO's), is nowadays the WBO World Light heavyweight Champion. He has taken the belt from Russian Maxim Vlasov on April 2021 and will make his first defense against British Callum Johnson on January 15. 

The 32 year old American boxer has made a very interesting career since his pro debut in 2009. He is remembered the most for destroying and retiring mighty Bernard Executioner Hopkins with an astonishing KO in 2016. Smith Jr has lost on his first World title shot against current WBA Light heavyweight Champion Dimitry Bivol.

Why would Joe Smith Jr not fight Canelo first if he had the chance?

In an interview for The Last Stand Podcast with Brian Custer, Joe Smith Jr stated that his current priority is not money but his legacy though. So, if he had the opportunity to select a rival for him, Canelo Alvarez would not be his first pick.

"At this point, everybody would choose the Canelo fight because it is money to be made there. But really for my legacy, I want to be known as a great fighter so I would like to fight Beterbiev and Bivol. What I really want is to unify and to become the only champion.", mentioned the Long Island, New York, native.

Obviously, after unifying belts with either Artur Beterbiev, WBC and IBF Champion, or Dimitry Bivol, WBA titleholder, Joe Smith Jr would totally take a shot against Alvarez because "Unless Canelo comes up and wants to fight, I'll take that fight. That is the big money right there, but l am looking out more than just making the big money. I want the keep the name for myself and I want to fight the best. He is the best", he said.

Canelo Alvarez is willing to jump into Cruiserweight to challenge WBC World Champion Congolese Ilunga Junior Makabu in May, but, if he makes history winning a belt in a fifth different category, he could be thinking about trying luck again in the Light heavyweight division.