Canelo Alvarez finally has agreed to fight Gennadiy Golovkin a third time.
The four-division champion from Mexico and the Kazakh knockout artist are tentatively set to meet September 12 in what would be their third meeting. Alvarez and Golovkin first must win interim matches against Billy Joe Saunders and Kamil Szeremeta, respectively, for their third encounter to take place.
That third fight reportedly is expected to be contested at the middleweight limit of 160 pounds, just like the first two bouts between Alvarez and Golovkin.
The Athletic first reported Tuesday that the two sides have come to an agreement.
Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) was supposed to challenge England’s Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) for his WBO super middleweight title May 2 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. BoxingScene.com has been informed that the Alvarez-Saunders fight has been pushed back until at least sometime in June due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) tentatively is set to make a mandatory defense of his IBF middleweight title versus Szeremeta (21-0, 5 KOs) on June 6 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
The date of the third Alvarez-Golovkin fight also could change, depending upon how long fights are postponed amid this pandemic.
Regardless, getting Alvarez to commit to a third fight with his rival is something DAZN executive chairman John Skipper has been trying to do since Alvarez signed an 11-fight deal with that streaming service in October 2018 that could become worth $365 million. Skipper subsequently signed off on a six-fight, nine-figure contract for Golovkin with the expectation that their third fight would’ve happened sometime in 2019.
Alvarez, who beat Golovkin by 12-round majority decision in their rematch in September 2018 at T-Mobile Arena, refused to fight Golovkin last year.
The 29-year-old Alvarez instead defeated Daniel Jacobs by unanimous decision in their middleweight title unification match May 4 at T-Mobile Arena. On November 2, Alvarez became a four-weight world champion by knocking out Sergey Kovalev in the 11th round to win the WBO light heavyweight title at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Alvarez reportedly asked Skipper for more than his standard DAZN package of $35 million per fight to box Golovkin a third time. It isn’t clear how much more money Alvarez will make, if any, than his usual purse to fight Golovkin again.
Golovkin was willing to fight Alvarez again as soon as he signed with DAZN a year ago. In his two fights that have been streamed by DAZN, Golovkin, who’ll turn 38 next month, has knocked out Steve Rolls in the fourth round and edged Sergiy Derevyanchenko by 12-round unanimous decision in a brutal battle that was one of the best action fights of 2019.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.