We lost one of the summer’s best fights when Eleider Alvarez withdrew from a July 16th clash against Joe Smith Jr. with a shoulder injury. Luckily, we won’t have to wait long to see the pair share the ring. As Smith’s trainer shared late last month, the fight is now targeted for “some time between Aug. 20 and Aug. 22, depending on the schedule.”
Alvarez’s (25-1, 13 KO) promoter, Yvon Michel, says that “Storm” will resume sparring “next week” and be “fit and ready to go” by fight night. Smith’s (25-3, 20 KO) promoter, Joe DeGuardia, says the situation is “not ideal” but that he “just want[s] this fight to take place.”
Whoever wins the rescheduled matchup will then face the winner of Maksim Vlasov vs. Umar Salamov for the WBO belt Canelo Alvarez took from Sergey Kovalev and subsequently vacated without a defense. Though all four semifinalists fight under the Top Rank banner, Vlasov and Salamov appear to be on two separate continents at the moment, so they’ll have to wait for travel restrictions to ease up.