By Brian Campbell
With Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez having already delayed the announcement for his May super middleweight title bout against Billy Joe Saunders due to the coronavirus outbreak, the four-division champion has reportedly come to terms financially on the opponent he will face later this fall.
Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs), will square off with fellow middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin in a much-anticipated trilogy bout, sources told The Athletic’s Lance Pugmire on Tuesday. Golden Boy Promotions, Alvarez’s promoter, are hoping to stage the bout Sept. 12 during Mexican Independence Day weekend inside AT&T Stadium outside of Dallas, although the date, site and weight class have not been finalized at this time.
The 29-year-old Alvarez, who currently holds the WBA middleweight title and secondary WBA belt at 168 pounds, is still expected to fight Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs), even if the fight is pushed off to June from its originally planned date of May 2 in Las Vegas. Should the planned fight with Saunders not reach its June destination point, however, Alvarez could bypass the bout altogether and head straight towards the GGG trilogy fight in the fall.
Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) and Alvarez have a heated backstory filled with dislike, failed drug tests and a pair of contentious pay-per-view bouts that were hailed as instant classics. Alvarez settled for a controversial split draw in their 2017 meeting in which most felt GGG had won. One year later, Alvarez took home a majority decision that seemingly could have gone either way.
Despite both fighters having signed huge deals over the past two years to fight exclusively on the streaming app DAZN in the United States, top officials with the all-sports streaming platform proved unsuccessful in getting Alvarez to agree to a third fight.
Alvarez, who has feuded publicly with his promoter over the last year, reportedly negotiated with Golden Boy for extra compensation to take the fight which exceeded the base guarantee being paid to him by DAZN after he signed a landmark 10-fight, $350 million deal.
It originally took Golovkin two years of chasing Alvarez to secure the initial 2017 fight, which led to critics attacking the 29-year-old global star for waiting on GGG to age. Now, Golovkin will have turned 38 by the time they meet for a third time this fall and has shown visible signs of slipping since the loss to Alvarez despite hanging on to outpoint Sergiy Derevyanchenko last October in a brutal fight for the vacant IBF title.
Alvarez enters 2020 fresh off a campaign worthy of fighter of the year votes when he edged Daniel Jacobs in a middleweight unification bout before knocking out Sergey Kovalev in November 2019 to claim a title at 175 pounds which he later vacated.