Canelo Alvarez has confirmed that he will return to the boxing ring for the first time in over a year next month to face Callum Smith.
The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger initially reported the news before the Mexican star announced it himself on social media, with this bout marking Alvarez’s first fight since November 2019 when he knocked out Sergey Kovalev to take his overall professional record to 53-1-2.
Smith, on the other hand, holds an unbeaten 27-0 record, with his last win also coming last November against John Ryder in his hometown of Liverpool.
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The pair are set to meet on December 19 in what will be the final big fight of 2020, with the deal seeing him return to DAZN – just two weeks after he left to become both a promotional free agent and a network free agent.
This fight had previously been rumored but the belief was that DAZN didn’t want to pay the necessary license fee to facilitate the event in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that things have changed with regards to Canelo’s situation, though, his first fight as a free agent will be under the DAZN banner while also being promoted by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.
A few weeks ago, Canelo’s manager and co-trainer Eddy Reynoso had the following to say on Alvarez’s release.
“In my role as a manager and coach of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, I allow myself to communicate to the boxing community and to al our fans that stating today, November 6th, ‘Canelo’ becomes a free agent, so we are ready to continue with his boxing career,” Reynoso wrote (h/t BoxingScene)
“All this time we have been working very hard in the gym with a lot of responsibility and discipline, to be in great physical shape and ready to fight this year and it will be.
“We will announce date, rival and place very soon, and we will return stronger than ever to keep growing and showing that Mexican boxing is the best. Thank you!”
Now, all roads lead to December 19 as Canelo attempts to further grow his legacy as one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the sport.