Who will Canelo Alvarez fight next after unifying super-middleweight titles against Billy Joe Saunders?

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Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez continued his quest for history on Saturday in Texas when he forced Billy Joe Saunders to retire after eight of 12 scheduled rounds to add the Brit's WBO super-middleweight championship to his WBA, WBC and The Ring belts.

It was the Mexican's third fight in just five months, after decisioning Callum Smith in December to kick off his 168lbs title haul before easily beating Avni Yildirim in a mandatory defence two months later.

Alvarez has stated he wants three or even four fights in total this year, so what's next? More importantly, who is next? And when?

Super-middleweight unification

Canelo hasn't exactly minced words about the road he's on. The four-division world champion has clearly stated that he wants to become the first undisputed super middleweight champ of the world and add yet another illustrious chapter in his boxing legacy.

A win over Saunders on May 8 led to Canelo owning three of the four world titles in the 168-pound division, with Caleb Plant's IBF strap representing the missing piece of the puzzle for undisputed glory.

That's precisely why the Mexican fighter would be off to the races trying to book a title unification bout with Plant, and he said as much at the post-fight press conference as well.

For what it's worth, Plant has also appeared extremely keen on the fight, especially given the profile and the money that will be involved in such an event.

"First (Canelo) has to beat Billy Joe Saunders in May. If he can get past him and get the belt, hopefully we can fight in September and give the fans what they want," Plant told ESPN Deportes in March about fighting Canelo for the undisputed crown.

"It would be a historic night that will leave us as the first undisputed champion in the history of the super middleweights and do you know who it will be? Caleb Plant."

We now know that Canelo has overcome the Saunders hurdle. So, if we're to take both men's words at face value, Alvarez and Plant will begin negotiations very soon.

Which leaves the question: when can we expect to see the battle for undisputed glory?

Canelo vs. Plant: Possible time and venue

The perfect time for Canelo's next fight — Plant or anyone else — is September. The weekend of Mexican Independence Day, to be precise. The middle Saturday of September will sit close to the other big Mexican holiday along with Cinco de Mayo, which took place days before Alvarez-Saunders. 

As for a location, that could be anything at this stage. However the overwhelming front-runner will of course be in the United States, with Canelo doing such good business there and Plant himself being American.

Many parts of the country, and the world at large, are still easing back to normality from the COVID-19 pandemic. But, Canelo's win over Saunders welcomed more than 70,000 fans in Arlington, Texas. Las Vegas fully re-opens this summer. And Miami has been at the forefront of the bigger events to happen in recent months despite restrictions. Those three locations will be at the front of the line for Alvarez's next instalment of the super-middleweight chase.

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