Talks for a middleweight world title unification fight between Canelo Alvarez and Demetrius Andrade have been ongoing, and a deal is imminent.
Sources have informed FightNights.com that representatives from both Golden Boy Promotions and Matchroom Boxing have acknowledged that there is an "agreement" in place, and could become official by Tuesday evening if both fighters agree to the terms. The bout could take place on either October 19 or 26 in Las Vegas -- per sources.
However, this fight is merely a backup plan. Golden Boy has also extended an offer to light heavyweight world beltholder Sergey Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KOs) to defend his belt against Alvarez, who would move up two weight classes for the bout. Kovalev opted to face unbeaten mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde (18-0, 16 KO's) on Aug. 24 in his native Russia. If Kovalev were to win the fight, it is likely that Golden Boy will push for a Canelo-Kovalev fight at some point in November instead of the Andrade bout.
This is the fight that Andrade has wanted. The WBO middleweight world titlist has called out Canelo since 2015, repeatedly accusing the multi-weight champion of ducking him. Now, he is one step closer to getting his wish.
"Canelo, you're a bitch! I'm putting it out there," Andrade told Tha Boxing Voice in Feb. 2015. "You scared of getting into a fight."
Andrade was upset that Alvarez, who at the time was not a champion, opted to face James Kirkland in a non-title bout. Kirkland had not fought in nearly two years and was brutally knocked out by Canelo inside three rounds.
Golden Boy and Matchroom have a history of making deals, including for Canelo's last two fights -- against Daniel Jacobs in a title unification bout on May 4 and Rocky Fielding in a secondary super middleweight title fight last December.
Both fighters hold one of the four major belts a piece. Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KO's), 28, of Mexico, initially held three of them, though. In July, Canelo was stripped by the WBC, which elevated him to a new designation as "franchise champion." Then, just weeks ago, Alvarez was stripped of the IBF title after negotiations for a mandatory defense against Sergiy Derevyanchenko ended with no deal after both sides could not agree on money. The IBF had allowed multiple postponements of a purse bid for the fight.
Now, Canelo holds the WBA "Super" belt, while Andrade owns the WBO strap. As for Derevyanchenko, a deal for "The Technician" to face former titleholder Gennady Golovkin for the vacant IBF belt on Oct. 5 is nearly finalized.
Andrade (28-0, 17 KO's) is coming off a blowout victory over Polish contender Maciej Sulecki to retain his title for the second time in July in a homecoming fight at Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. Alvarez outclassed Daniel Jacobs over 12 rounds to retain his belts.