Following Canelo Alvarez’s announcement today that he’s signed a deal with Premier Boxing Champions, ESPN.com’s Mike Coppinger is reporting that Jermall Charlo will be Canelo’s next opponent, with a fight likely coming on Sept. 16.
It was expected that Canelo (59-2-2, 39 KO) would fight on Sept. 16, though other recent rumors had him potentially delaying until October. With a deal at PBC done, though, he now has just under three months before his preferred return date on Mexican Independence Day, which is plenty of time.
The fight would see Canelo, 32, defending his undisputed 168 lb championship against the 33-year-old Charlo (32-0, 22 KO), who just passed two full years of inactivity this past Saturday.
It would also see Charlo moving up from middleweight and possibly finally vacating the WBC belt, which the sanctioning body has been very generous about.
In another “preferred clientele” note about this likely matchup, this would be the second time in 2023 we’ve revisited a bogus “WBC Franchise” bit from 2019, following Haney vs Lomachenko in May, though Canelo vs Charlo would be in a different weight class from what happened with them a few years back.
Charlo was elevated from interim to full middleweight title status in 2019, when the WBC made Canelo its first-ever “Franchise champion,” in large part because Canelo didn’t have any intention of fielding a mandatory order to face Charlo, just as Lomachenko had no intention of facing his mandatory, Haney, later that same year.
It seems clear that boxing is returning to a heavy reliance on the pay-per-view model, and this would be a second huge PPV matchup for PBC before the summer is out, following Errol Spence Jr vs Terence Crawford on July 29.
The move from Canelo is a significant blow for Matchroom Boxing and DAZN, too, as Canelo has only fought once off of DAZN since signing with them in 2018, and Matchroom have promoted six of Canelo’s last seven fights.
Without Canelo for at least his next few fights — which, at his age and with the money he’s made, might be about the end of the line — DAZN’s star power cupboard is pretty bare, especially with Ryan Garcia and Golden Boy now more at odds than ever before. Jake Paul vs Nate Diaz may have to do a lot of heavy lifting for them this summer.
Canelo’s deal with PBC is reportedly for three fights.