Report: Canelo Alvarez gets next opponent

Rumours have been swirling about Canelo Alvarez's next opponent in recent weeks, and now it looks like the search might be over.

By: Lukasz Fenrych | 3 months ago

It looks like Canelo Alvarez has his next fight. Having announced via instagram that he’s returning in September, along with a PBC logo, sources tell ESPN that he has indeed inked a three-fight deal with the company. Along with the news of a new contract, it also sounds like Canelo has a new opponent. After talks for a fight with Badou Jack fell apart, the Mexican star appears to be set to take on Jermall Charlo.

Canelo Alvarez vs Jermall Charlo

The 31-year-old Charlo (whose twin brother Jermell holds all the belts at light-middleweight) is certainly a credible opponent for Canelo; a two-weight world champion who would here be making his attempt at a third. There are some caveats however. He hasn’t fought at super-middleweight before, where this fight would most likely take place. And he hasn’t fought at all for two years, since defending his WBC title against Juan Macias Montiel in June 2021.

That layoff was claimed by WBC president Mauricio Sulemain to be down to somewhat cryptic “serious mental health episode”—by way of explaining why the WBC hasn’t stripped him of the belt yet. Whatever the case, returning from that kind of layoff straight into a fight with the best fighter in a new division is a hell of a risk for Charlo to take.

While it hasn’t come completely out of nowhere, this hadn’t been a fight that seemed high on the list of priories before rumours started circling a couple of weeks ago. It’s also not necessarily the fight Canelo himself would have made his first choice. That would most likely be a rematch with Dmitry Bivol. Nonetheless, taking on another champion—even one jumping up in weight—is nothing to sneeze at.

The fight is expected to take place on September 16th, on Mexican Independence Day weekend, a date Canelo has fought on regularly throughout his career. It would be a Showtime pay-per-view event.

A three fight deal?

If confirmed, that three fight deal sees Canelo make a broadcasting and promotional change, departing DAZN and Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom for PBC’s partnership with Showtime. That’s a good place for him to be currently, as PBC work with a number of fighters around super-middleweight who could be attractive options for Canelo should he win his next fight.

With his adventures at higher weights having mixed results recently—a convincing loss to Bivol last year, and cruisewerweight champion Badou Jack laughing off his offer of a catchweight bout for the belts—it may do Canelo some good to stick around for a while. Since he’s coming into his mid-30s and jumping up and down in weight is going to get harder as he ages, a three-fight deal with options to take him through the next couple of years may well prove to be sensible planning.

One of those potential opponents is Demetrius Andrade, who has himself been talking about facing Charlo recently, but perhaps most notable are David Benavidez and David Morrell. Both of those hold subsidiary versions of Canelo’s super-middleweight belts, meaning they’re both theoretically sitting on mandatory shots at him. Whether or not those are enforced, him fighting on the same network should make getting the bookings together much easier.

Per ESPN’s sources, that three fight deal stretches to September next year, with a fight on Cinqo de Mayo weekend and and the last on Mexican Independence Day again. Those are dates Canelo Alvarez has tried to make his own since becoming the biggest star in the sport, so a deal securing him fights on those days makes sense.

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About the author
Lukasz Fenrych
Lukasz Fenrych

Lukasz Fenrych is an analyst and writer. He has been covering combat sports since 2019, and joined Bloody Elbow's boxing team in 2022.

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