After seeing 2020 dominated by contract disputes, Canelo Alvarez will step into the ring before the end of the year. An official announcement from Alvarez on Tuesday confirmed that Alvarez will fight Callum Smith on Dec. 19 in a unification bout for the WBA super middleweight championship. The fight will be streamed in the U.S. on DAZN. The location and venue of the fight is still to be determined, but it is expected to take place in Texas.
Alvarez has not fought since November 2019, where he won the WBO light heavyweight championship from Sergey Kovalev. The title gave him runs with recognized world titles in light heavyweight, middleweight and junior middleweight, along with a current run as a secondary championship holder at super middleweight, where he holds the WBA "regular" championship.
Smith holds the "super" version of the WBA title in the weight class and will defend that belt in the clash with Alvarez. Smith has also been out of action since November 2019, when he retained his title with a decision win over John Ryder to run his professional record to 27-0. At 6-foot-3, Smith has long been teased as a potentially interesting challenge physically for 5-9 Alvarez, though he will enter the ring as a significant underdog to the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport.
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Alvarez is coming off a long legal battle with former promoter Golden Boy Promotions and streaming service DAZN. DAZN signed Alvarez to a $350 million deal over five years in 2018, but this year claimed that Alvarez had failed in his contractual obligation to deliver at least one fight against a "premier" opponent each year and sought for Alvarez to take a lower fee for his next fight. In response, Alvarez sued for breach of contract this September.
Earlier this month, Alvarez's team announced their fighter was now a free agent, having severed ties with Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya and DAZN, though the possibility remained for Alvarez to work with DAZN for one-off fights rather than under his existing deal.