The fight is on.
Canelo Alvarez and unified middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin finalized an agreement Wednesday to square off in a rematch Sept. 15 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The agreement ends a wild day of negotiations in which Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya initially told ESPN there would be no fight, only to turn around a short time later and announce the fight, in fact, will take place.
Golden Boy Promotions imposed a noon PT deadline for GGG to accept an improved offer under which Alvarez would get the majority of a 57.5 percent-42.5 percent revenue split. De La Hoya reportedly called ESPN on Wednesday to say the deadline passed without a deal, but things suddenly changed and one of De La Hoya’s associates called ESPN back moments later. Negotiations still were ongoing.
Here’s how ESPN’s Dan Rafael described the scene in an article published on ESPN.com:
As it turned out, while De La Hoya was on the phone talking to ESPN, what was termed as a “Hail Mary” idea to save the fight was being discussed between Golden Boy president Eric Gomez and others involved in the fight and then communicated to Golovkin’s team.
“Still working on it,” Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler texted to ESPN 20 minutes after the deadline as he scrambled to see if Golovkin, who is in Moscow as a guest of one of his sponsors for the World Cup, was interested in the newest proposal.
That “Hail Mary” worked because now there is going to be a rematch that is perhaps the biggest fight in boxing. Golovkin and Alvarez met last September at the T-Mobile Arena, the same site where the rematch will take place, and fought to a heavily disputed draw that most thought Golovkin won.
Terms of the agreement are unclear, but this is huge news for boxing. The two fought to a controversial draw last September and were set to face each other again this May, but Canelo failed two drug tests for a banned substance and was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Then, when it finally looked like the rematch was back on, GGG pulled out due to a dispute regarding the financial particulars.
There’s always a chance things could go off the tracks yet again, but there’s a lot of money to be made by both fighters. So keep your fingers crossed, fight fans.
It’ll also be interesting to see how the scheduled date impacts a potential fight between heavyweights Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua, who were believed to be eyeing Sept. 15 for their much-anticipated showdown but now could opt to fight either in October or November.
Thumbnail photo via Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports Images