Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has a roadmap laid out for the rest of 2022. The Mexican superstar signed a two-fight deal with DAZN. First up for Alvarez will be a return to the light heavyweight division to face WBA champion Dmitry Bivol on May 7, Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn and Alvarez announced on Friday. Then, should Alvarez defeat Bivol, he will face longstanding rival Gennadiy Golovkin on Sept. 17.
Alvarez surprised the boxing world in 2019 when he chose to move to light heavyweight for one fight in pursuit of a world title in a fourth weight division in his career. He accomplished that goal in emphatic fashion by scoring a brutal knock out of Sergey Kovalev in Round 11 of the bout. The fight with Kovalev is the only time Alvarez has fought at 175 pounds.
Bivol is undefeated in 19 career bouts and has held the WBA light heavyweight title since 2017, being promoted to WBA super champion in 2019. Since becoming super champion, he has successfully defended the title three times. He is generally considered the second-best fighter in the division, behind only Artur Beterbiev.
Alvarez and Golovkin battled in September 2017 and 2018, with the first fight going to a split draw before Alvarez won a majority decision in the rematch. The two were considered two of the sport’s absolute elite fighters at the time and fans — and Golovkin — have loudly called for a third fight between the two, even as Golovkin’s skills have slipped slightly in recent years.
While the fights mark a return to DAZN for Alvarez, who had once signed the fighter to a 10-fight deal with more than $365 million, it is expected the streaming platform will place them as pay-per-view events on top of the standard subscription fees, a significant change for a platform that once pitched itself as a pay-per-view killer.
Alvarez and DAZN parted ways in late 2020 when the fighter filed a lawsuit against DAZN and Golden Boy Promotions, after DAZN accused Alvarez of not fighting what they deemed “premier opponents.” The lawsuit was eventually settled and Alvarez became a free agent. In a bit of irony, much of DAZN’s issues with Alvarez during the deal hinged on the fighter not wanting to make the third fight with Golovkin.
Locations for both fights have not yet been confirmed though the Bivol fight is being targeted to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vega.