It’s a case of a little gain for the pain for Canelo Alvarez..
The 29-year-old Mexican professional boxer and middleweight world champion is set to climb two weight divisions to challenge light heavyweight world titlist Sergey Kovalev.
In a fight finalized on Friday, Alvarez and Kovalev will meet on November 2 (DAZN) at the MGM Grand Garden Arenain Las Vegas.
Alvarez didn’t demand a catchweight in an attempt to drop Kovalev below the division limit of 175 pounds.
Golden Boy Promotionshad hoped to stage the fight at the larger T-Mobile Arena, but the NHL‘s Vegas Golden Knightshave a home game on November 2.
Kovalev is by far the biggest name in the light heavyweight division.
Alvarez, who pressed for the fight, will have the opportunity to win a world title in a fourth weight division after claiming belts at junior middleweight and middleweight and a secondary title at super middleweight.
If Alvarez wins, he would become only the fourth fighter in boxing history to win world titles at junior middleweight and light heavyweight. The other three — Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearnsand Mike McCallum— are in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
“The second phase of my career is continuing just as we had planned, and that’s why we are continuing to make great fights to enter into the history books of boxing,” Alvarez said. “That’s also why I’ve decided to jump two weight classes against one of the most feared champions of recent years.
“Kovalev is a dangerous puncher, and he’s naturally the bigger man, but that’s the kind of challenges and risks that I like to face.”
Alvarez, boxing’s biggest star, has never fought at a weight heavier than 167¼ pounds, which is what he was for his third-round knockout win over Rocky Fieldingto win a secondary super middleweight belt in New York in December. Alvarez returned to the 160-pound middleweight division for his next fight in May, a unanimous decision to unify three belts against Daniel Jacobs.
The deal between Golden Boy, Alvarez’s promoter, and Main Events, which represents Kovalev, had been close for the past week. It got hung up, sources told ESPN, when Top Rank— which has rights to Kovalev stemming from a deal it made with Main Events to put his February rematch with Eleider “Storm” Alvarezon ESPN+— sought a low seven-figure fee to give up its involvement in the bout.
After days at a stalemate, Main Events agreed Wednesday to pay Top Rank what it was seeking. Once that contract was signed, Main Events signed the deal it had made with Golden Boy to finalize the November 2 fight. Part of the agreement gives DAZN rights to future Kovalev fights, at least one if he beats Alvarez — possibly a rematch — and two if he loses, before he would return to ESPN under his Top Rank agreement, according to a source.