Saul “Canelo” Alvarez insisted that Jaime Munguia “earned” being the latest challenger to his undisputed super middleweight title on May 4.

After months of speculation surrounding the identity of his next opponent, Alvarez’s fellow Mexican Munguia was confirmed for the date at the T-Mobile Arena on Cinco de Mayo weekend.

Alvarez’s status as the world’s leading fighter means he remains sought after by potential opponents in the 168lbs division and beyond, but after Terence Crawford, Edgar Berlanga, David Benavidez and Jermall Charlo were ruled out, Munguia, 27, enters his highest-profile fight and will earn his biggest purse.

Munguia stopped John Ryder in nine rounds in January, little over six months after Ryder impressed in taking Alvarez the full 12, and while there regardless remain observers who continue to consider Munguia a significant underdog – a fight with Benavidez is widely considered the most appealing – Alvarez said his admiration for his compatriot had grown.

“I said I wouldn’t fight against a Mexican fighter but someone respectful like Munguia, who earned his chance, fight after fight – it’s something that I’m glad we were able to make happen,” the 33 year old said. “I hope that everybody can see that this is going to be great for everyone involved, and for Mexico in particular. 

“Munguia is a disciplined guy. He really hits hard. He can be a power puncher, and I like the challenges. I want to go after hungry [fighters] like Munguia who want to give their all inside the ring and give the fans the show that they deserve.

“I am really proud of what is going to be an amazing week and full of Mexican pride. Full of fans out in the streets, showing their pride and being able to drape the flag all over and show the world what kind of party the Mexicans can throw. Both inside and outside of the ring it’s going to be amazing, and I can’t wait.

“The fans are going to be the greatest winners on May 4 and we invite you all to enjoy what’s going to be a great party and a great source of Mexican pride for everybody.

“It’s a great source of pride for me because it’s Mexican all over, and I’ve pride in Jaime Munguia to come all the way that he has and I’m proud the country is being featured the way that it is.”

It had previously been reported that Alvarez had split from the promoters Premier Boxing Champions, but at a time when references were being made to the trilogy between Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales, and the two fights between Oscar De La Hoya and Julio Cesar Chavez – De La Hoya used to promote Alvarez and continues to promote Munguia – the PBC branding at the press conference in Los Angeles was recognition of their agreement for the coming fight, and Alvarez said: “Al Haymon; PBC; Fernando Beltran. I’m really thankful with them for being able to make it happen, because this fight – when two Mexicans sit down and they talk, it’s not hard to make it happen.”

The date on May 4 represents Munguia’s second under the respected Freddie Roach. Alvarez’s corner will again be worked by Eddy Reynoso.

“Any time two Mexican fighters face each other, you know it’s going to be a war, and especially now it’s the first time two Mexican fighters are going to go at it for all four belts,” said Reynoso. “We’re going to prove to the world that Mexican boxing is up there as the best in the world. We’re going to work really hard and try our best to be sharp on May 4. We hope the fans will be the true winners.”