Canelo Alvarez, boxing’s top star, will defend his undisputed super middleweight championship versus Jermall Charlo in September, likely Sept. 16 on Mexican Independence Day weekend, sources told ESPN on Thursday.
Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs) struck a three-fight deal with PBC, with the other two fights expected to take place on Cinco De Mayo weekend and Mexican Independence Day weekend in 2024, sources said. The Mexican fighter’s fight against Charlo, the WBC middleweight titleholder, is expected to be a Showtime PPV.
The network declined comment. Alvarez announced on Instagram a “done deal” for September along with the PBC logo, but he didn’t name an adversary or specify that the deal was for multiple fights.
The deal is a coup for PBC, which brings the sport’s top star into the fold and away from rival promoter Eddie Hearn. Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing promoted Alvarez’s past three fights, including his most recent outing, a Mexico homecoming win over John Ryder in May.
The other two bouts with Matchroom and DAZN took place last year, a defeat in May to Dmitry Bivol at 175 pounds (Alvarez’s only loss since a 2013 bout vs. Floyd Mayweather) and a victory over Gennadiy Golovkin in a September trilogy bout.
Prior to that, Canelo scored an 11th-round TKO of Caleb Plant in a PBC on Showtime PPV bout in November 2021.
Last month, Alvarez was No. 5 on Forbes’ highest-paid athletes list at estimated earnings of $110 million in 2022. The four-division champion defeated Ryder before 50,000-plus fans to retain his four 168-pound titles and is ranked No. 5 pound-for-pound by ESPN.
Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) is an elite fighter and was in the running for the Canelo assignment last May when Alvarez picked Bivol.
However, Charlo hasn’t competed since June 2021, when he scored a unanimous decision win over Juan Macias Montiel. WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said last month that Charlo’s inactivity is due to mental health. Charlo is a former 154-pound titleholder who has never competed above 160 pounds.
His twin brother, Jermell Charlo, is the undisputed junior middleweight champion. Both Charlos are advised by Al Haymon. Jermall, who fights out of Houston, is now expected to earn a career-high payday.
Alvarez was also offered a fight versus cruiserweight champion Badou Jack in Saudi Arabia, but the weight was an issue. Jack tweeted that he was willing to come down to 190 pounds for the 200-pound title fight, but that Alvarez didn’t want to fight above 180 pounds.
And now Alvarez is with PBC, which also has the second-biggest stateside attraction in its ranks in Gervonta Davis and is set to stage the July 29 superfight between Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford.