By: Hans Themistode
Canelo Alvarez was flattered by Al Haymon’s two-fight deal worth upwards of $100 million to take on both Jermall Charlo and David Benavidez. Ultimately, however, the Mexican star found Eddie Hearn’s offer just a bit too enticing.
As first reported by ESPN, Alvarez has officially signed his name on the dotted line to first take on WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol on May 7th. Then, should Alvarez strip Bivol of his world title, the Mexican star will move back down in weight to defend his undisputed super-middleweight throne against longtime rival, Gennadiy Golovkin.
Golovkin’s side of the deal is predicated on the 39-year-old picking up a victory against WBA middleweight titlist, Ryota Murata. Initially, Golovkin had been hoping to swap fists with Murata at the tail end of 2021. But, in what’s become a consistent and unwanted pattern, their contest was scrapped due to rising COVID-19 cases in Japan, Murata’s home country, and the initial destination where their contest was set to take place.
While both Benavidez and Charlo are now officially out of the equation, at least momentarily, both Bivol and Golovkin are anxiously awaiting their opportunity. For years on end, Bivol has audaciously called for a showdown against Alvarez, even going as far as to say that he’ll move down to the 168 pound super middleweight limit to placate the Mexican native.
Following an inactive 2020 where Bivol remained sequestered on the sidelines, he made two successful defenses of his WBA strap in 2021 against Craig Richards and Umar Salamov.
In the case of Golovkin, although he’s looking forward to fattening his wallet with a third showdown against Alvarez, the current IBF middleweight champion believes their three-part fight series should have come to an end following their second fight. In September of back-to-back years in 2017 and 2018, Golovkin believes that he was given a raw deal. While he’s learned to live with the split decision draw and majority decision defeat he was given, Golovkin has quietly attempted to lure Alvarez back into the ring.
All the while, Alvarez has placed his attention elsewhere, aggregating every world title at 168 pounds against Callum Smith, Billy Joe Saunders, and Caleb Plant to become the division’s first undisputed champion.
Despite Golovkin spending the vast majority of his violent career at 160 pounds, he’s agreed to face Alvarez as a 168 pounder. Although it will be the first time in Golovkin’s career that he’ll fight in a different weight class, he has fought above the 160 pound limit against Steve Rolls in 2019 at a contracted catchweight of 164 pounds, where Golovkin officially tipped the scales at 163. Ultimately, Golovkin blasted Rolls in the third round and would go on to reel off three consecutive victories since his loss to Alvarez.
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