Canelo Alvarez to Fight Callum Smith Dec. 19 After Leaving Golden Boy Promotions

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 17, 2020

Canelo Alvarez, right, walks to his corner after knocking down Sergey Kovalev during a light heavyweight WBO title bout, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, in Las Vegas (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

Canelo Alvarez's return to the ring is set.

On Tuesday, promoter Eddie Hearn announced Alvarez has agreed to a Dec. 19 bout with Callum Smith, a move that's been expected since Canelo ended his working relationship with Golden Boy Promotions earlier this month.

Alvarez has not fought since November 2019 amid a lawsuit he filed against Golden Boy and DAZN, claiming Oscar De La Hoya's promotional team falsely represented him in negotiations with the streaming service. His suit sought $280 million in damages for breach of contract.

Alvarez was originally slated to fight in May, but that bout was postponed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Alvarez, Golden Boy and DAZN then had a falling out over the fighter's next opponent.

Steve Kim of ESPN reported DAZN had been steadfast in Canelo fighting Gennady Golovkin, who is also signed to a deal with the streaming service, for the third time. However, Alvarez balked at a rematch against GGG. It's believed that De La Hoya pitched the 11-fight, $365 million deal Canelo signed in 2018 partially on the back of a promise that a third fight between the two would happen.

The lawsuit stated:

"After extended discussions between the parties, DAZN offered to pay Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions a fraction of the contracted $40 million license fee in cash and some DAZN stock in advance of a potential IPO. However, the entire value of the package—for a bout against another World Champion—was substantially less than Alvarez' contractual guarantee.

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"Given that DAZN had made it clear that it would not honor its contract, throughout the spring and summer of 2020, Alvarez repeatedly asked Golden Boy Promotions to explore alternative broadcast options for a fall 2020 bout. Although Golden Boy Promotions reported that it was talking to various broadcasters, it failed to put forth a single alternative plan by which it would pay Alvarez the $35 million it had promised him for each of his fights."

While the parties reached a settlement earlier this month, it's unclear what (if any) compensation went Alvarez's way. 

Golden Boy and DAZN continue to have a working relationship.   

Alvarez is 53-1-2 with 36 knockouts in his career. Smith has a 27-0 career record with 19 knockouts.