Eight months after unified middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin and former champion Canelo Alvarez fought to a hotly contested draw in an action-packed bout -- one most thought GGG won -- they will meet again in a rematch.
Alvarez promoter Golden Boy Promotions and Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler announced Monday that the rematch, which they have been negotiating for months, will take place May 5 (HBO PPV, 8 p.m. ET) -- Cinco de Mayo -- at a site to be determined.
"I am ready to battle Canelo again and am happy he took this fight again," Golovkin said. "This is the fight the world wants. This is the fight boxing deserves. I didn't agree with some of the judges' decisions in the first fight. This time there will be no doubt. I am leaving the ring as the middleweight champion of the world."
In one of the most anticipated fights of 2017, Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) and Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) met on Sept. 16 at sold-out T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, where they put on a tremendous fight, as virtually everybody expected.
Golovkin, 35, a Kazakhstan native fighting out of Santa Monica, California, retained his 160-pound world title for the 19th time -- one shy of tying Bernard Hopkins' division record of 20 -- but he didn't get the win most thought he deserved. Instead, GGG was saddled with a draw.
Judge Dave Moretti scored it 115-113 in Golovkin's favor, but judge Don Trella had it 114-114 and Adalaide Byrd had a universally criticized scorecard of 118-110 in favor of Alvarez, who even said after that while he thought he won, he did not think it was by that wide of a margin.
Mexican superstar Alvarez, 27, said he is happy the deal is done for the rematch and said he aims to set the record straight about the first fight.
"I'm delighted to once again participate in one of the most important boxing events in history," Alvarez said. "This second fight is for the benefit and pleasure of all fans who desire to see the best fight the best. This time, Golovkin won't have any excuses regarding the judges because I'm coming to knock him out."
The deal, which does not include a rematch clause, was finalized Saturday night at The Forum in Inglewood, California, where Golden Boy was promoting an HBO-televised card featuring Lucas Matthysse versus Tewa Kiram and Jorge Linares versus Mercito Gesta. Just before Linares walked to the ring for his lightweight world title defense, De La Hoya and Loeffler signed the contract finalizing their deal. The fighters had already signed off with their promoters before that.
The rematch -- for which both fighters will be randomly drug tested by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, according to Golden Boy president Eric Gomez -- figures to be another blockbuster event.
The fight in September drew a record crowd for an indoor boxing event in Las Vegas and generated a gate of $27,059,850, the third-biggest in boxing history. The fight also generated around 1.3 million pay-per-view buys.
"Canelo vs. Golovkin II will be boxing's biggest and best event of 2018 as these two elite fighters once again go head-to-head to determine who is the best middleweight in the world," Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya said. "I expect we will see even more fireworks in the rematch as both fighters know there more is at stake now than before."
The promoters said now that the deal is done they will work on finalizing a site, although in recent weeks they told ESPN that there were only three serious candidates: T-Mobile Arena; Madison Square Garden in New York, where Golovkin has been a popular draw; and Jerry Jones' AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, in Arlington, Texas, the site of Alvarez's ninth-round knockout victory against Liam Smith to win a junior middleweight world title in September 2016.
"This is the fight boxing fans have been waiting for since the controversial outcome of last September, and the only fight Gennady has wanted since that decision," Loeffler said. "Gennady is ready for this historic record-tying 20th title defense where he will demonstrate his superiority over Canelo. Gennady is on a mission to prove he is still the best middleweight in the world today and one of the best fighters of his era."
Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has Golovkin as the early favorite at -180 and Alvarez at +150 with an over/under of 11.5 rounds.