By Keith Idec
The WBC announced during its convention Wednesday in Kiev, Ukraine, that Canelo Alvarez can make a voluntary defense of its middleweight title in his next fight.
Mexico’s Alvarez is expected to make that defense against David Lemieux, a former IBF 160-pound champion. The WBC also voted that if Alvarez defeats Lemieux, he must face the winner of a mandated bout between former WBC champ Gennady Golovkin and Jermall Charlo, the WBC’s interim champion, in his following fight.
It is unlikely that the 36-year-old Golovkin would fight the unbeaten Charlo before boxing Alvarez a third time. If the WBC insisted on Charlo-Golovkin taking place prior to a third Alvarez-Golovkin fight, Alvarez simply could vacate the WBC middleweight title again and box Golovkin.
Alvarez defeated Golovkin by majority decision in their 12-round rematch September 15 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
A third bout against Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) would make much more financial sense for Golovkin than facing Charlo. Houston’s Charlo, 28, has waited patiently for a shot at Golovkin and now Alvarez, but he cannot force either fighter to box him.
Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) won the WBC’s interim middleweight title by knocking out Hugo Centeno Jr. (26-2, 14 KOs, 1 NC) in the second round April 21 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Promoter Oscar De La Hoya has mentioned December 15 as a possible return date for the 28-year-old Alvarez to meet Montreal’s Lemieux (40-4, 34 KOs). That might be too soon for him to fight again, especially since he suffered a deep cut over his left eye during a brutal bout against Golovkin 2½ weeks ago, made more than $40 million for that high-profile, pay-per-view fight and would have to quickly return to training camp later this month for a December bout.
Alvarez’s return to the ring also has been complicated by HBO’s announcement last week that the premium cable network will no longer broadcast boxing in 2019. Alvarez has fought exclusively on HBO or HBO Pay-Per-View for the past three years.
Showtime, ESPN and DAZN are among the networks and streaming services that could work with Alvarez, the most proven active pay-per-view star in the sport.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.