Canelo Alvarez, the undisputed super middleweight champion, announced on June 22 that he would return to defend his 168-pound belts in September, and speculation immediately arose that it would be against Jermall Charlo.
Alvarez will fight a Charlo, but rather than Jermall, he will face undisputed super welterweight champion Jermell Charlo, Jermall’s twin brother, on September 30 on Showtime Pay-Per-View in Las Vegas. The fight will most likely take place at T-Mobile Arena, although no deal has been finalized for a venue.
Stephen Espinoza, president of sports and events programming for Showtime, said that while speculation abounded that it would be Jermall who would fight, Alvarez did not identify an opponent. It was determined that Jermall would not be ready to fight in time.
“At the end of the day, everyone understands that Jermall faced some personal issues and the feeling is that he couldn’t fully commit to a fight of this magnitude and be fully prepared and do all that he could. had to do while balancing everything that’s going on in his personal life,” Espinoza told Yahoo Sports.
Jermall holds a WBC middleweight title, but hasn’t fought since losing Juan Macias Montiel on June 19, 2021, to take his record to 32-0. He fought a division in front of his brother for a while and it was a natural of the two to go up.
But with his personal issues making it difficult for him to compete, his brother was a near-perfect alternative. The only problem is the size. Jermell is fighting at super welterweight, which has a limit of 154 pounds. Alvarez is now a super middleweight, with a limit of 168. And he briefly held a light heavyweight title, which has a limit of 175 pounds.
Espinoza, however, doesn’t see the height disparity as such a big deal.
“Not too long ago they were both at 154,” Espinoza said. “And Jermell has been talking about going to 160 for a while. You understand Jermell is a really big 154-pounder. It’s going to be a challenge, but he’s optimistic and thinks he’ll be able to do it.”
Alvarez last fought at 154 on September 17, 2016, when he stopped Liam Smith. Since then he has fought 13 times, going 12-1. He was three times middleweight, twice light heavyweight and twice super middleweight for eight fights. He was 1-1 at light heavyweight, stopped Sergey Kovalev and dropped a decision to Dmitriy Bivol. He was 3-0 at middleweight, with two wins over Gennadiy Golovkin and one over Daniel Jacobs. At super middleweight, he beat Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Rocky Fielding, Callum Smith, Avni Yildirim, Billy Joe Saunders, Caleb Plant, Golovkin and John Ryder.
Charlo’s last two fights were for the undisputed super welterweight title against Brian Castaño. They fought to a draw on July 17, 2021 and Charlo won the rematch via 10th round knockout on May 14, 2022.
Alvarez has fought 10 times in his career on Mexico’s Independence Day weekend, but the UFC has a show at T-Mobile that night. Espinoza doesn’t think the new date of September 30 will impact pay-per-view success.
“It would have been nice to have been this weekend, but it’s not like Canelo would lose his appeal if he fought on a different date,” Espinoza said. “It’s a traditional date for [star Mexican boxers], but Canelo is a brand and we have had success with it at different times. We did really well with him and Caleb Plant and that fight happened in November.”
Alvarez defeated Plant on November 6, 2021. It sold around 800,000 pay-per-views.