The renewal of one of boxing’s most compelling rivalries is now within sight. On Monday, Canelo Alvarez announced that he’ll bypass an immediate rematch with WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol to face arch rival Gennadiy Golovkin in September.
ESPN Deportes first reported the news.
Alvarez had agreed earlier this year to meet Golovkin in September, but only after he moved up to light heavyweight to challenge the unbeaten Bivol for his belt. Bivol controlled the bout and defeated Alvarez by unanimous decision that wasn’t as close as the scores made it appear.
Alvarez said after the fight that he wanted the rematch with Bivol, but decided to go ahead with his contractual obligation to fight Golovkin instead. They fought to a split draw in a spirited middleweight title fight in 2017, but Alvarez won the rematch by majority decision in 2018.
“We already had that contract [to face Golovkin in September], 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 told ESPN Deportes. “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.
“What is certain is that we are going to return in September. And in the coming days, today, tomorrow, the day after, we are going to announce the [third Golovkin] fight. We just have to wait a little bit.”
The first two Alvarez-Golovkin fights were classic battles. The first is remembered primarily for the odd scorecard turned in by judge Adelaide Byrd, who had Alvarez winning 10 rounds to 2. That led to her briefly being taken out of the major fight rotation by the Nevada Athletic Commission. Dave Moretti had it 115-113 for Golovkin and Don Trella had it even, 114-114.
The rematch was slated for the following May, but Alvarez tested positive for low amounts of the banned substance Clenbuterol. The fight was postponed until September and the rivalry heated up because Golovkin blasted Alvarez for the positive test.
Moretti and Steve Weisfeld saw the rematch as a 115-113 win for Alvarez, with judge Glenn Feldman scoring it 114-114.
Since that fight, Alvarez went on to become the first undisputed super middleweight champion ever and vaulted into the top spot on the pound-for-pound ratings. He then attempted to move up to win a light heavyweight belt, but was beaten by Bivol and dropped out of the top pound-for-pound position.
Golovkin has remained at middleweight. On April 9, he stopped Ryota Murata in the ninth in an IBF-WBA unification bout.
Both of their previous sold more than 1 million on pay-per-view. The paid gates were $27 million for the rematch and $24.5 million for the first fight, third and fourth in Nevada history.