LAS VEGAS – Canelo Alvarez smiled as he walked out of his bout with Gennady Golovkin, the bad blood that had built up over the past five years finally put to rest.
Alvarez was relieved to retain his 168-pound unweighted championship against GGG at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday, and if not for the pain in his injured left hand, he told ESPN, “it’s off the Caleb plant.” fight”
That means Alvarez’s powerful left hook hurt in May when he was trying to become a two-time champion at 175 pounds coming off an upset loss to Dimitri Bivol.
He returned to super middleweight to defend his four belts against Golovkin, and now, boxing’s superstar must decide which division to campaign in. But first, Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs) says he rested instead of chasing. A December hold-over fight that was discussed earlier this year when Eddie Hearn signed a two-fight deal with Macharum Boxing.
“I can’t hold glass,” Alvarez said in the ring after the fight. “[Hand is] too bad. But I am a fighter.
Still, the 32-year-old Alvarez is a free agent from the promotion and network and will be free to pursue the biggest and best fights. His next bout could come against Bivol in a undefeated May rematch for the Light Heavyweight Championship. Bivol caught Alvarez and the loss ate away at Alvarez over the summer.
A crafty boxer with an excellent jab, Bivol will first defend his title against Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez on November 5 in Abu Dhabi. Bivol is the frontrunner for Alvarez’s next fight if he wins as expected, which will likely be in May.
“Everybody knows” he wants the rematch with Bivol, Alvarez said, adding that he’s waiting to “see what happens” in the Russian’s fight with Zurdo.
“I need to rest my body,” Alvarez said. “I have to rest my arm, my body, but I’ll come back strong. [Revenge vs. Bivol is] For my legacy, for my pride, for my country, for my family, for everything. It is very important. I will beat him.
Alvarez will be the underdog in the rematch. Aside from Alvarez’s apparently difficult bivalve style, the weight classes are there for a reason. Alvarez’s only win at 175 pounds came against a faded version of Sergey Kovalev in November 2019, a brutal 11th round KO after Alvarez struggled at times in the fight.
Against Bivol, he won a maximum of three rounds and the size difference was definitely a factor. After all, Alvarez won his first title at 154 pounds and says he’s most comfortable at 168.
At super middleweight, where he is the unquestioned ruler, there are two attractive options, both with PBC fighters. The main one is a matchup with David Benavidez, who constantly applies pressure and revels in size and youth — and the punishing volume-shooter he uses against Alvarez.
Another option is Jermall Charlo, who has not competed since June 2021 and currently holds the title at 160 pounds. He expressed his willingness to meet Charlo Alvarez at 168.
If Alvarez chooses the path he wants, he can move forward with the peace of mind that his fight with Golovkin is over. Now he can focus on regaining the pound-for-pound throne he held before losing it to Bivol. The best way to do this is to have a clear victory over him. Next best way: Defending his four 168-pound titles against Benavidez.
As always, Alvarez will have his pick of fights as the face of boxing and the high paydays he can offer his opponents.
“I’ve been through some really tough things in my life and the only thing you can do is try and keep going and move forward,” Alvarez said. “I’ve been through hard times with my failures and I’ve shown that failures are big. It helps you to be humble.”