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Canelo Alverez Will Pass On Bivol Rematch For Third Fight Against Gennadiy Golovkin

James Murphy
by in Boxing on
  • Canelo Alverez plans to take a third fight with Gennadiy Golovkin instead of exercising his rematch clause to face Dmitry Bivol.
  • Alverez signed a multi-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing in February.
  • The third fight with Golovkin will take place at 168 pounds and is tentatively set for September 17.

Canelo Alverez is doing the smart thing. Instead of exercising his rematch clause to face Dmitry Bivol at 175 pounds he’s returning to 168 pounds to take a third fight against Gennadiy Golovkin. The fight is set for September 17–Mexican Independence Day weekend–and although the venue is officially ‘TBA’ the previous two bouts of the trilogy were held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Both drew in excess of 21,000 and each pulled a live gate of $20 million plus USD.

Golovkin has fought at 160 for his entire career, and the Canelo bout will mark his debut as a super middleweight. Although Golovkin has suggested that he’ll benefit from the extra weight, the jury is still out. Fighting at a different weight for the first time at age 40 is no easy feat. In his last fight, he picked up the WBA Middleweight title via a TKO win over Ryoto Murata at the Saitama Super Arena outside of Tokyo. There’s considerable dispute as to whether the glass is ‘half full’ or ‘half empty’ in terms of GGG’s performance. He did pick up a stoppage victory, but Murata did good work to the body early in the fight before Golovkin took control in the fifth round. The dissenters (and you can include me in that group) note that GGG struggled at times with a fighter he would have eviscerated earlier in his career.

The best case scenario for Golovkin is that he’s as good now as when he previously fought Canelo. At age 40 and having fought once in two years that’s far from certain. One thing that is certain is that Canelo *isn’t* the same fighter that he was when he lats faced Golovkin. He’s significantly better, even if he did take a slight step back with the Bivol loss. Then again, the takeway from that fight was that he’s best served not moving up in weight to fight a very dangerous opponent like Bivol. Canelo has improved every time out since the last fight against GGG. He’s also been much more active in the past few years. GGG has fought twice since October 2019, while Canelo has fought seven times. Age could also be a factor–Canelo is nine years younger and boxing has a cruel tendency to make quality aging fighters look old overnight.

Canelo announced his plans on Monday in Naucalpan, Mexico:

“We already had that contract [with Gennadiy Golovkin], that agreement, so we have to continue what we started, and I think those are the two biggest fights in boxing, the fight with Golovkin and the rematch with Bivol. Unfortunately, we lost, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try again.”

“The important thing here is perseverance and we’re going to do it again. What is certain is that we are going to return in September. And in the coming days … we are going to announce the fight.”

There’s plenty of animosity between Alverez and Golovkin, as the Mexican superstar noted:

“[Golovkin] always say something about me; he always talking about me. That’s why [it’s personal].”

Here’s some highlights of GGG vs. Murata:

As seen on

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