The drama seems to be over, and Canelo Alvarez’s next fight appears to be a done deal.
The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger reported over the weekend that the Mexican boxing superstar is finalizing a deal to move up to light heavyweight to take on WBO champion Sergey Kovalev on November 2nd in Las Vegas, Nevada. Alvarez has never fought at light heavyweight before, and would be moving up two divisions (160 lbs to 175 lbs) to challenge the Russian power-puncher.
Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) unified his WBA and WBC middleweight titles with then-IBF champion Daniel Jacobs, winning a unanimous decision this past May. All eyes turned towards the possibility of a trilogy with Gennadiy Golovkin, but all reports indicate that Alvarez has no interest in facing him next, so Golden Boy and DAZN explored other options. Canelo apparently had his sights set on Kovalev in September, but Kovalev had a fight with Anthony Yarde on August 24th, and Golden Boy’s offer apparently to lure Kovalev to a Canelo bout and have Yarde step aside did not work out. He was also stripped of his IBF title for not facing mandatory challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko, as reported tension between Canelo and Golden Boy surfaced.
Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) regained the WBO light heavyweight title in his immediate rematch with Eleider Alvarez, winning a unanimous decision to avenge his shocking KO defeat. Against Yarde, he survived a serious scare in round eight and knocked the Brit out in the 11th round. Ordinarily, an August-to-November turnaround would be very quick for a high-level champion, especially given the near-KO he suffered, yet it looks as if they’ve agreed to terms this time around.
And yes, it has not gone unnoticed that this fight is the same evening as UFC 244, which is slated to be headlined by Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal. Canelo would usually be fighting this weekend (Mexican Independence Day weekend), but a combination of injury and being unable to secure the ideal opponent — at least one DAZN would approve in lieu of Golovkin — pushed things back. Coppinger also reported that there’s a reason they’re sticking to that date.
In the immediate aftermath, Kovalev’s side indicated that Nov. 2 wasn’t the ideal date, per sources, with the bout just over two months away. The date held importance for DAZN, though. The platform bills on a monthly cycle at $19.99 (unless one chooses the annual option), and DAZN can now entice fans to pay for two months with the heavyweight championship fight between Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua more than 30 days later, on Dec. 7.
So the wild goose chase to find Canelo’s next fight is over, and it’s certainly a matchup that’s out of left field.