Canelo Alvarez isn't moping around after his surprising Cinco de Mayo weekend loss to Russian boxer Dmitry Bivol. Not only has Alvarez returned to his gym, he plans to keep his Sept. 17 fight date.
Alvarez’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, told USA TODAY Sports+ Monday that Alvarez will decide his opponent as soon as next week, and it increasingly looks like it will be a long-awaited trilogy match against his bitter rival, two-belt middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin.
The bout would be for the four super-middleweight belts that Alvarez currently wears after becoming the first undisputed 168-pound champion of the four-belt era last year.
“If he fights GGG, he’ll rematch Bivol straight after,” Hearn said. “I think a GGG fight is much bigger now than it was pre-Bivol because everyone just thought (Alvarez) was unbeatable. It’s a great fight. I’d love to do one more.”
Alvarez himself hinted that Golovkin will be his choice earlier Monday in comments at a golf promotion in Mexico. He told ESPN Deportes, “we already had that contract, that deal, so we have to continue what we started.”
Alvarez and Golovkin fought to a disputed draw in 2017, when judge Adalaide Byrd scored the tight bout 10 rounds to two in Alvarez’s favor, before Alvarez claimed a narrow victory by majority decision in 2018.
This would be their third Mexican Independence Day weekend meeting.
Alvarez's advisors are reminding him the timing is ideal, considering that Golovkin, 40, (42-1-1, 37 KOs) is coming off a ninth-round technical knockout of middleweight champion Ryota Murata in April.
Hearn said Alvarez’s revised fight schedule likely scuttles plans for Alvarez to take a third bout this year — in December — since he would target Bivol for a 2023 date.
In their May 7 bout, the bigger Bivol (20-0) out-landed Alvarez in all 12 rounds and won by unanimous decision, 115-113 on all three scorecards at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to retain his World Boxing Association light-heavyweight 175-pounds belt.
Alvarez’s former promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, skewered Hearn for pushing Alvarez toward the bigger Bivol, calling it “the dumbest decision in the history of boxing.”
Hearn responded to De La Hoya on Monday, saying, “There’s no better moment for us than now to force the message: ‘Don’t do drugs, kids,’” Hearn said. “I hope he can find happiness.”
Now, four-division champion Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs) seems on board with the suggestions of both Hearn and De La Hoya, embracing that his shrewdest career move is to return to the weight class he dominated, seeking to convincingly defeat the rival who thus far has engaged him in fierce battle through 24 competitive rounds.
Neither Alvarez nor Golovkin has ever been knocked down during their battles.
Hearn said he will maintain contact with Alvarez by telephone over the following days to finalize the plan.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Canelo Alvarez likely choice for September return is Gennadiy Golovkin