NEW YORK–Eddie Hearn just knew that the window for making a potentially iconic trilogy was fast closing.
Hearn, the head of Matchroom Boxing, is the promoter of the upcoming third bout between sworn rivals Canelo Alvarez, the undisputed champion at 168, and Gennadiy Golovkin, the unified middleweight titlist on Sept. 17 on DAZN Pay-Per-View at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The fight will be staged at 168, the division in which Alvarez has all four major belts.
The third match between two top names is expected to garner substantial public interest, but the scheduled meeting was never a guarantee. Alvarez and Golovkin were supposed to meet much sooner, as many as three or four years ago, as part of a programming focal point for the American expansion of DAZN, the streaming platform that signed both fighters at that point in time with the expectation of making that fight. But in-fighting between Alvarez, DAZN, and Alvarez's then promoter Golden Boy scuttled those plans.
Momentum for the fight finally picked up after Alvarez’s points loss to light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol in May in Las Vegas.
“This is the time to make this trilogy,” Hearn told BoxingScene.com. “It’s the only time, really. We already had a plan to do this.”
Alvarez has made it clear that his preference was to face Bivol again in the fall. But Hearn was able to convince Alvarez that a Golovkin fight made more sense as an immediate option. Both Alvarez and Hearn have floated the idea of fighting Bivol next spring.
Hearn believes the commercial timing could not be better for a fight that some boxing fans believe has long gone past its shelf life. But Alvarez’s loss to Bivol, on Hearn’s logic, has chipped away enough of the veneer of invincibility that the Mexicna superstar has built for himself in the past few years to make a third fight with Golovkin sellable to the public. Indeed, Hearn has said that he expects the third bout to be even "bigger" than the first two. Their first fight, in 2017, ended in a controversial drew, while Alvarez pulled away with a close majority decision in the second fight in 2018.
“I think Saul’s first reaction is I want a rematch (with Bivol), I want a rematch,” Hearn said. “And any fighter would want to do that. But to drop [down in weight] and take the undisputed fight in a trilogy I think is the right thing to do.
“If they (Team Alvarez) want to progress to the rematch next May or whenever they want it, I’m sure Bivol would accept that challenge as well.”