Canelo Alvarez, Gennadiy Golovkin trilogy fight signed for September

Canelo Alvarez left) and Gennadiy Golovkin gave fans a night to remember in their first fight. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Lance Pugmire
USA TODAY Sports+

Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin have signed to fight for a third time, industry officials connected to the talks told USA Today Sports+.

Following their 2017 draw and Alvarez’s narrow victory by decision one year later, the bitter adversaries have come to terms for a Sept. 17 trilogy match that will likely be fought at 168 pounds.

Las Vegas is the front-runner to land the bout, but several other competing bids from other locales are expected.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are unauthorized to speak publicly on the matter with both fighters scheduled for spring contests.

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Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) is the undisputed super-middleweight champion and will meet Russia’s WBA light-heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol May 7.

Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs), a Kazakhstan champion, ventures to Japan April 9 to defend his IBF middleweight belt against Ryoto Murata.

Alvarez will host a news conference Wednesday in San Diego to discuss the Bivol fight, and the Golovkin-Murata bout is also expected to be formally announced by promoters and broadcaster DAZN that day.

Alvarez, 31, is expected to enter the third fight against Golovkin as the prohibitive favorite. Golovkin — also known as “GGG” — turns 40 next month and has looked unspectacular in three bouts since his majority decision loss to Alvarez on Sept. 15, 2018.

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Golovkin’s former trainer, Abel Sanchez, expressed concern about how will fare against a peaking Alvarez, who has won world titles in four weight classes and is coming off a convincing knockout of formerly unbeaten IBF super-middleweight champion Caleb Plant.

Yet, the competitiveness of the first two Alvarez-Golovkin bouts — scarred by a shocking card from judge Adalaide Byrd that widely favored Alvarez in the first bout — elicited impassioned calls from fight fans to definitively settle the debate over who is better.

Although each fighter possesses famed knockout power — Golovkin once knocked out 23 consecutive opponents and Alvarez moved up to light heavyweight to flatten then-champion Sergey Kovalev — neither has touched the canvas through their 24 rounds of intense hand-to-hand combat against each other.

They previously sought to finalize a trilogy fight deal in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic and Alvarez’s later split with Golden Boy Promotions stopped the talks short of the finish line.

Now, with both men favored to emerge victorious in their coming spring bouts, the trilogy match is finally at hand.