Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez made the shock decision last night to drop the WBC Middleweight Title.
The belt has now been handed by the WBC to Gennady Golovkin, who also holds the IBF and WBA world middleweight titles.
Despite the dropping of the title meaning that Alvarez essentially got out of a fight with the fearsome Golovkin, Canelo insisted that he still wants to fight the explosive star out of Kazakhstan, just not with a deadline looming.
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After his sixth-round, one-punch knockout of Amir Khan to retain the title back on May 7, the WBC had mandated a fight between Canelo and Golovkin would be taking place, with a deadline of May 22 being placed on negotiations.
The Mexican didn't quite fancy being rushed into negotiations like that, so vacated the belt. According to Alvarez, that was too soon and he wants to make the best possible deal before stepping in the ring.
"After much consideration, I instructed my team at Golden Boy Promotions to continue negotiating a fight with Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin and to finalize a deal as quickly as possible," Alvarez said in a statement. "I also informed the WBC that I will vacate its title."
Want the Fight
Canelo made sure to insist that he wasn't ducking a fight with GGG.
"For the entirety of my career, I have taken the fights that no one wanted, because I fear no man. Never has that been more true than today," he added.
"I will fight 'GGG,' and I will beat 'GGG', but I will not be forced into the ring by artificial deadlines."
"I am hopeful that by putting aside this ticking clock, the two teams can now negotiate this fight, and 'GGG' and I can get in the ring as soon as possible and give the fans the fight they want to see."
Golovkin is currently The Ring's third best pound-for-pound fighter in the world with his 35–0 record, 32 of which have come the way of KO. Canelo, on the other hand, is down in 7th in the rankings with his 47–1–1 record - that one loss coming from Floyd Mayweather, with Alvarez winning all six of his bouts since that defeat.
Despite being ranked lower and now holding less belts, Canelo is still a much bigger draw than GGG and he holds the power in negotiations for the fight, which is why he vacated the title.