It turns out it’s status quo for Canelo Alvarez despite an unexpected loss to Dmitry Bivol. Boxing’s top star indicated at the post-fight press conference that he would exercise his rematch clause for a return fight with Bivol in September, but on Monday he reversed course.
“We already had this contract [with Gennadiy Golovkin]this deal, 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 Monday during his golf invite to Naucalpan, Mexico “Unfortunately we lost, but that doesn’t mean I won’t try again.
“The important thing here is perseverance and we will do it again. What is certain is that we will come back in September. And in the next few days… we will announce the fight.”
When Alvarez signed a multi-fight deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing in February, it included a Sept. 17 fight with GGG. Alvarez was a 4-1 favorite to defeat Bivol in a 175-pound title challenge, but he dropped a unanimous decision. The 31-year-old Mexican had 30 days to choose between two options on September 17, sources tell ESPN: a rematch with Bivol or a third with Golovkin.
Now that Alvarez has made his choice, he will return to 168 pounds, where he is the undisputed champion, and defend all four super middleweight titles against Golovkin on Mexico’s Independence Day weekend. The location has not been finalized, the sources say, but the first two fights took place in Las Vegas and each generated more than $20 million in revenue.
Even in the aftermath of the loss, Canelo-GGG 3 is perhaps the biggest commercial fight in all of boxing. The September 2017 clash for the unified middleweight championship ended in a controversial coin toss. The rematch, a year later, was narrowly won by Alvarez by majority decision.
The third fight will be contested at 168 pounds and will double Golovkin’s debut at 40 as a full-fledged super middleweight.
Golovkin, a unified middleweight title holder, has hit the 160-pound limit since winning an Olympic silver medal in 2004. The extra eight pounds could benefit Golovkin, Hearn said, and he thinks the loss to Bivol makes the fight even bigger.
“I’m comfortable knowing that I won those fights,” Golovkin, ESPN’s No. 2 middleweight, told ESPN in March. “I don’t look back at decisions. … I thought I won the first two, so winning the third would be the same for me.”
Both matchups were thrilling action fights contested at the highest level. There’s also plenty of bad blood left after Alvarez tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol ahead of a scheduled rematch in May 2018. He was suspended for six months, despite his claim that the unfavorable finding was the result of spoiled meat eaten in Mexico, and the rematch was postponed to September 2018 – but not before Golovkin hurled numerous insults at Alvarez.
Alvarez said: “[Golovkin] always say something about me; he always talks about me. that’s why [it’s personal].”