Canelo Alvarez's fractured right thumb has shaken up HBO's fall schedule.
Alvarez, returning to the junior middleweight division, suffered the injury during the second round of his ninth-round knockout of England's Liam Smith to win a 154-pound world title last Saturday night in Arlington, Texas, before 51,240, an AT&T Stadium-record crowd for boxing.
The injury scuttled Alvarez's plans for a ring return on Dec. 10 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
With Alvarez idle until 2017, unified middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin, who is on track to face Alvarez next September in perhaps boxing's biggest fight, will take over the Dec. 10 HBO date.
"That was Canelo's date and we're shooting for that date now for GGG," Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions told ESPN.com on Thursday night.
Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs), who stopped Kell Brook in the fifth round for his 17th title defense (three short of tying Bernard Hopkins' division record) and 23rd consecutive knockout on Sept. 10 at the sold-out O2 Arena in London, was initially ticketed for a ring return on Nov. 26, but he will instead move off the Thanksgiving weekend date.
The fight being targeted for Golovkin is his mandatory defense against secondary titleholder Daniel Jacobs (32-1, 29 KOs), who retained his belt for the fourth time by knocking out Sergio Mora in the seventh round of their rematch on Sept. 9. The proposed site for GGG-Jacobs is the now-available Madison Square Garden, which makes sense given that Golovkin sold out the building for his October 2015 title unification fight against David Lemieux and Jacobs is a popular draw from Brooklyn.
Golovkin-Jacobs has been ordered by the WBA and the camps have until mid-October to make a deal or a purse bid will be ordered, but it is a fight HBO has heavy interest in and Loeffler and Jacobs' adviser, Al Haymon, are in discussions. Loeffler and Haymon were able to do business together for an April fight between Golovkin and Haymon client and mandatory challenger Dominic Wade.
"Hopefully, we can work out the details soon for Jacobs," Loeffler said.
It's an expensive fight to make but Alvarez's injury seemingly will make it possible. HBO has been mired in a budget crunch but may have additional resources at its disposal now because the money budgeted for Alvarez's December bout -- believed to be at least $4 million -- is not needed before the end of the year and some of it potentially would go toward making GGG-Jacobs.
HBO declined to discuss the matter.
With Golovkin moving to Dec. 10, it has also opened up Nov. 26, which HBO and Top Rank are planning for junior lightweight titleholder Vasyl Lomachenko (6-1, 4 KOs), the two-time Ukrainian Olympic gold medalist, to slide into to defend his title in Las Vegas.