Fight News

Canelo Forfeits Mexican Independence Fight Weekend, Needs Time to Secure the “Right Opponent”

Canelo bows out of September fight date, opponent search continues...

Canelo-Alvarez

The intrigue surrounding Canelo Alvarez’s next opponent continues with today’s announcement that the middleweight champion will not fight on Mexican Independence Day Weekend.

In a joint statement between Golden Boy and Canelo, the two parties acknowledge September 14 is too soon to not only negotiate and secure a marquee opponent, but also complete the training and media obligations.

Golden Boy and Canelo Alvarez have made the strategic decision to postpone their typical September fight. The decision was made in an effort to secure the right opponent and to do justice to the level of promotion required for a boxing star of his magnitude.  Though Canelo typically fights in May and September, it is not without precedent to fight later in the year as Canelo did fight in December of 2018 in Madison Square Garden. Canelo’s next fight will now take place later in 2019.

“As a Mexican, it’s a responsibility and an honor to represent my country in both May and September,” said Canelo Alvarez. “Those are my dates. However, as a world champion in multiple weight classes, I also have the responsibility of delivering the most exciting and competitive fights possible. That’s why Golden Boy and my team have decided to postpone the date in order to do right by my fans by promoting the best fight possible and with the best opponent possible.”

Canelo last fought on Cinco de Mayo weekend, defeating Danny Jacobs by unanimous decision to unify the WBC, WBA and Jacobs’s IBF belt. In recent weeks, Canelo has been in deep negotiations to make a jump to light-heavyweight and challenge Sergey Kovalev. Those hopes dwindled after purse figures couldn’t be settled and Kovalev announced his bout with Anthony Yarde for August 24.

Other discussed opponents for Canelo include a third fight with rival Gennady Golovkin and WBO middleweight title-holder Demetrius Andrade.

***

A lot to unpack here. When Canelo and DAZN announced their historic $300 million+ deal last year, most didn’t ask the most important question. Namely, how much control would the upstart streaming service have in naming Alvarez’s opponents?

From the news we’ve heard in recent weeks, it appears a hell of a lot. Canelo reportedly has a lot of personal animosity for Golovkin and doesn’t want a rubber match. But, that is far and away the most lucrative fight for both men and DAZN needs it to attract more subscribers and remain viable.

DAZN is rumored to have agreed on two potential opponents — the aforementioned GGG and Kovalev, the latter now out the the picture with the Yarde fight confirmed. IF Canelo is flat-out refusing to face GGG, he’s possibly sitting out to see if Kovalev gets past Yarde.

However, it must be noted there’s an unsubstantiated rumor that what truly forced Canelo’s postponement is the need for a procedure on his right knee. Last year, he had a minor surgery to remove a cyst from the area and began sporting a brace.

While Canelo sits, opportunities open up for others. Golovkin could easily swoop in and take the date. If he’s not risk-adverse,GGG could target Andrade to pick up the WBO strap and force Canelo’s hand. GGG could also settle for an easier foe like Jaime Mungunia, who’s name has been floated in recent months. And let’s not forget the folks over at Premier Boxing Champions, who could easily try to get Errol Spence vs. Shawn Porter secured for September 14.

One thing’s for sure — this will be the first time in nearly a decade that Mexican Independence Day weekend won’t have a fight that involves either Floyd Mayweather or Canelo Alvarez. And right now, it’s too soon to decide whether that’s a benefit or detriment to the sport.

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