Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will not fight for the remainder of 2016 after doctors diagnosed a right thumb fracture, Golden Boy announced today.
The injury occurred last Saturday during Alvarez’s ninth round stoppage victory over Liam Smith. An X-Ray and CT scan from Dr. Pedro Jaime Lomeli revealed an avulsion fracture to the right thumb that does not require surgery.
Canelo’s right hand will be immobilized for the next six weeks, effectively nixing rumored plans to fight in New York in December.
Canelo still plans to move up to 160 pounds next year and “take on the best in the middleweight division.”
This presents an interesting dilemma for Canelo and Golden Boy next year. The time frame to “grow” into the middleweight division is now sped up. Although the doctor stated the prognosis is excellent, there is a chance Canelo will get just one middleweight tune-up in May before facing Gennady Golovkin next September.
Should he go with David Lemieux? The fight is in-house, and Lemieux’s punching power and seek n’ destroy style would be a good litmus test for how Canelo deals with the strength of an attacking middleweight. Or, does Canelo try to one-up Golovkin’s performance a few weeks back by facing Kell Brook on Cinco de Mayo?
If I’m Canelo’s team, I hope for the quick recovery and aim for an early 2017 bout before the one in May. And while a Brook fight is intriguing and lucrative, his focus needs to be on getting adjusted to middleweight size and power. Therefore, I’d look in-house to the aforementioned Lemieux and Curtis Stevens, who both fought (and won) on the undercard for Canelo-Khan.
Since Canelo targeted a December fight in New York, he can look to face Stevens, a Brooklyn native, on an early 2017 date, and move on to Lemieux in May. That gives Canelo two fights against dangerous and strong middleweights that also happen to be Golovkin victims (furthering the hype and comparisons headed into the superfight).
In boxing, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. In other words, a lot needs to right for the above scenario to happen. For now, all we can hope for is a speedy Canelo recovery.