Canelo Alvarez will face top junior middleweight contender Erislandy Lara on July 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Showtime Pay Per View, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer confirmed on Sunday.
Alvarez (43-1-1, 31 knockouts) requested that his next opponent be Lara (19-1-2, 12 KOs) during a meeting with Schaefer at the Los Angles offices of Golden Boy earlier this month, and the deal has been completed.
A 23-year-old Mexican star, Alvarez has sandwiched victories over previously unbeaten Austin Trout by unanimous decision and Alfred Angulo by 10th-round knockout around a unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather that dethroned him as RING and WBC 154-pound champion last September.
Before facing Mayweather, Angulo and Trout, whom he dropped in the seventh-round last April, Alvarez had been criticized for largely taking on undersized competition such as Josesito Lopez and Alfonso Gomez, and for facing past-their-prime fighters such as former welterweight beltholders Shane Mosley, Carlos Baldomir, and Kermit Cintron.
Alvarez knocked out Lopez, Gomez, Baldomir and Cintron, and unanimously decisioned Mosley. Unlike Mayweather, Trout and Angulo had mostly contested as a junior middleweight. Trout had unanimously decisioned Miguel Cotto in December 2012 before falling to Alvarez, and Angulo had floored Lara in the fourth and ninth rounds of a 10th-round knockout loss last June.
After beating Angulo, Lara dominated Trout, flooring and nearly stopping him in the 11th round of a unanimous decision in a clash of southpaws in December, and called Alvarez "a baby" for not fighting him.
"Great fight. Great Matchup. It's a 50-50 fight," said Schaefer, in an e-mail to RingTV.com on Sunday. "The two best jr. middleweights not named Mayweather, fighting each other."
Lara, a 31-year-old former Cuban amateur star, was scheduled to face former beltholder Ishe Smith on May 2. The ring savvy southpaw has withdrawn from that fight to face Alvarez.
RONNIE RIOS 127.6, ANDREW CANCIO 127.4 FOR GOLDEN BOY LIVE!
Unbeaten junior lightweight Ronnie Rios and Andrew Cancio weighed 127.6 and 127.4 for Monday's Golden Boy Live! card at UIC Pavillion in Chicago on Fox Sports and Fox Deportes.
The 24-year-old Rios is 22-0 with 10 knockouts, and 25-year-old Cancio, 15-2-2 with 11 stoppage victories.
Also, featherweights Julian Ramirez (10-0, 6 KOs) and Carlos Rodriguez (22-13-2, 10 KOs) were 122.2 and 122.4, junior welterweights Jose Arumbula (6-0, 3 KOs) and David Diaz (4-0-1, 2 KOs) weighed 134.2 and 135.4, and welterweights Alex Martin (4-0, 4 KOs) and Anthony Linenfelser (3-6, 3 KOs) were at 146.8 and and 144.6.
For still other bouts, super middleweights Mike Gavronski (13-0-1, 10 KOs) and Kevin Hand (5-5-1, 5 KOs) weighed 165.4 and 167, heavyweights Jordan Shimmel (13-0, 11 KOs) and Damon McCreary (15-1, 11 KOs) were 207.4 and 257.4, and welterweights Semajay Thomas and Miguel Antonio Rodriguez were 142.2 and 139.
Photo / Naoki Fukuda