Canelo Alvarez Opts For Third Golovkin Fight In September
Almost four years to the day since they met in their highly contentious rematch, Canelo Alvarez and bitter rival Gennadiy Golovkin will complete their long-awaited trilogy.
Alvarez will defend the undisputed super middleweight championship against unified middleweight titleholder Golovkin, who will move up one weight class, on Sept. 17 – Alvarez’s preferred Mexican Independence Day weekend date – at a site to be determined in the main event of a DAZN PPV card, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn and DAZN announced on Tuesday.
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“I feel very happy and proud to be able to give the best fights and this fight won’t be an exception,” Alvarez said.
The fight was agreed to months ago as part of Alvarez’s two-fight deal to return to Hearn and DAZN after knocking out Caleb Plant to become the undisputed 168-pound champion in November in a one-fight deal with Showtime and Premier Boxing Champions.
However, Alvarez and Golovkin would have other fights first. Golovkin had to defeat Ryota Murata in their 160-pound unification fight on April 9 in Japan, which GGG did by stirring ninth-round knockout.
Alvarez, meantime, moved up to light heavyweight to face titleholder Dmitry Bivol on May 7 in Las Vegas in an effort to win a belt in the division for a second time. However, Bivol scored the upset decision win, leaving uncertainty about what Alvarez would do next.
Would he invoke his contractual right to an immediate rematch with Bivol, which he said he would in the immediate aftermath of the defeat, or would he go through with the third fight against Golovkin, which is by far the bigger fight commercially and to many a more winnable fight?
Despite Alvarez’s initial bravado about seeking an immediate rematch with Bivol, he opted to face Golovkin again. GGG has campaigned hard for the third fight and DAZN has desperately wanted the fight for the past few years.
Now, chapter three it is on.
“I hope to see you on Sept. 17,” said Golovkin, who will be fighting as a full-fledged super middleweight for the first time.
Said Eddy Reynoso, Alvarez’s trainer and manager: “Let’s push ahead without going backwards. A Mexican never surrenders. Let’s push forward.”
On Monday at a golf tournament in Mexico, Alvarez telegraphed his decision when he said he had opted to face Golovkin again rather than Bivol next.
“We already had that contract (with Golovkin), that agreement, so we have to continue what we started, and I think those are the two biggest fights in boxing, the fight with Golovkin and the rematch with Bivol,” Alvarez said in translated comments. “Unfortunately, we lost, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try again. The important thing here is perseverance and we’re going to do it again.”
Alvarez, who had 30 days to decide whether to exercise his Bivol rematch option or go for the Golovkin deal, could opt to face Bivol again after the third fight with Golovkin.
Canelo-GGG III will renew the hostilities between men who once considered each other friends only to have the relationship deteriorate into bitterness thanks to the two extremely controversial results in their bouts and Alvarez’s failed drug test for the banned substance clenbuterol during the lead up to the rematch, which was postponed while Alvarez served a six-month suspension.
The first blockbuster pay-per-view fight, which took place on Sept. 16, 2017 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, ended in a massively controversial split draw but with most viewing Golovkin, who retained his three middleweight titles, as the clear winner. Judge Dave Moretti had Golovkin winning 115-113 but judge Don Trella scored it a 114-114 draw and Adalaide Byrd had it 118-110 for Alvarez – one of the most vilified scorecards in recent boxing history.
They finally met again in another highly entertaining pay-per-view mega fight on Sept. 15, 2018, also at T-Mobile Arena, where Alvarez eked out a heavily disputed majority decision on scores of 115-113, 115-113 and 114-114 to take GGG’s belts and end his historic middleweight title run at 20 successful defenses, which ties him for the division record with Bernard Hopkins.
Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs), 40, a Kazakhstan native fighting out of Santa Monica, California, wanted a third fight right away, but Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs), 31, of Mexico, went in a different direction. The potential third fight was a major factor in Alvarez’s lawsuit against Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN, which eventually was settled and made him a promotional and broadcast free agent. Golden Boy had apparently contractually promised DAZN the third fight but had not gotten Alvarez to agree to it, causing litigation when they tried to force the issue with Alvarez.
All of that will just add to the hype of the third fight, which remains one of the biggest fights that can be made in boxing.
“The Canelo versus GGG trilogy is the biggest fight in boxing and I am delighted to get this made for Sept. 17,” Hearn said. “These are two men that bitterly dislike each other and want to end this incredible series with a blistering KO. I truly believe this will be the most thrilling fight between these two great champions and it will be fireworks from the first bell to the last man standing.”
Alvarez-Golovkin III will air on DAZN PPV in the United States and Canada and on regular DAZN around the rest of the world except in Mexico, Latin America and Kazakhstan, where other outlets have broadcast rights.