Canelo Alvarez, fresh from his huge majority decision victory over Gennady Golovkin to win the unified middleweight world title in their Sept. 15 rematch, will be back in the ring before the end of the year and in a new weight division trying to win another belt.
The Mexican superstar said on Friday that he will move up to the super middleweight division and challenge Rocky Fielding for his secondary world title on Dec. 15 in his first fight at famed Madison Square Garden in New York.
"I'm very excited to announce my next fight. Next December 15th at the New York MSG," Alvarez wrote on social media. "Taking a big challenge. I will fight for the world title at 168 pounds versus Rocky Fielding, the current WBA champion!"
Alvarez and his team were planning for a possible Dec. 15 fight even before the fight with Golovkin as long as Alvarez came out of the fight healthy.
Although Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs), 28, of Mexico, suffered a nasty cut over his left eye against Golovkin, Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez told ESPN earlier this week that Alvarez had been told by his doctor that he would be fine to fight in December and would soon be permitted to return to training.
So while Alvarez plans to fight again this year, it is unclear whether he will do the fight with his longtime broadcast partner HBO, which has had him under contract since 2015. A Golden Boy spokesman told ESPN that no decision on a broadcaster has been made yet. HBO announced last week it was giving up its boxing franchise after 45 years of covering the sport.
Also, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya said after the fight with GGG that Alvarez's contract with HBO had expired, although he said he would give the network the first crack at negotiating a new deal.
So Golden Boy and HBO could do the fight on HBO PPV as a one-off and Alvarez could seek a deal elsewhere after the Dec. 15 fight, or he and Golden Boy could make a deal with a new outlet for the year-end fight.
De La Hoy and Gomez, who have been in Kiev, Ukraine this week for the WBC convention, were unavailable for comment
At the convention, the WBC, which sanctions one of the world title belts Alvarez holds, ruled that Alvarez would be allowed a voluntary defense before the end of this year and ordered interim middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) to face Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) with the winner becoming Alvarez's WBC mandatory challenger.
But Alvarez isn't necessarily going to bind himself to the WBC's order. Because of his economic muscle, he can fight whomever he wants and has previously given up belts if his mandatory defense was not to his liking.
Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs), 31, of England, does not have a big reputation. In November 2015, Callum Smith knocked him out in the first round for the vacant British super middleweight title.
Fielding has won six fights in a row since, including when he knocked out Germany's Tyron Zeuge in the fifth round on July 14 in Offenburg, Germany, to win the secondary world title. England's Smith knocked out countryman George Groves in the seventh round last Friday to win the WBA's top super middleweight title.