Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin II
The world’s two top middleweights had collided the previous September and had fought a high quality and entertaining contest that ended with a controversial split draw after the full 12 rounds. However, with pundits and fans making cases for both fighters having won the bout, it was not so much the result of the draw that caused the controversy but rather the 118-110 scorecard in favour of Canelo by judge Adelaide Byrd, which was in stark contrast to the scorecards of 115-113 for Golovkin by Dave Moretti and the 114-114 even score by Don Trella.
Immediately after the controversial ending, talks began for a rematch between Álvarez and Golovkin. Álvarez stated he would next fight in May 2018, whereas Golovkin was open to fighting in December 2017. ESPN reported that Álvarez, who only had the rematch clause in his contract, must activate it within three weeks of their fight. On September 19, Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez told ESPN that everyone on their side was interested in the rematch and they would hold discussions with Tom Loeffler in the next coming days. Ringtv reported that the negotiations would begin on September 22. On September 24, Gomez said the rematch would likely take place in the first week in May 2018, or if a deal could be worked, we could see the fight take place as early as March.
Despite ongoing negotiations for the rematch, at the 55th annual convention in Baku, Azerbaijan on October 2, the WBC officially ordered a rematch. Golden Boy president Eric Gomez told ESPN, “Regardless of if they did or didn’t order the rematch, we are going to try to make it happen. We’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen.” On November 7, Eric Gomez indicated the negotiations were going well and Álvarez would make a decision in regards to the rematch in the coming weeks. It was believed that Golden Boy would wait until after David Lemieux and Billy Joe Saunders fought for the latter’s WBO title on December 16, 2017 before making a decision.On November 15, Eddie Hearn, promoter of Daniel Jacobs stated that he approached Tom Loeffler regarding a possible rematch between Golovkin and Jacobs if the Álvarez-Golovkin rematch fails to take place.
On December 20, Eric Gomez announced that the negotiations were close to being finalized after Álvarez gave Golden Boy the go-ahead to write up the contracts. On January 29, 2018 HBO finally announced the rematch would take place on May 5 on the Cinco de Mayo weekend. Both fighters said that this time the judges would not be needed, with both men promising to knock the other out. The venue for the rematch was not confirmed until February 22, Madison Square Garden in New York had been in the running to host the event, but it was eventually decided that the stage would be the same as the first fight, the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. According to WBC, unlike the first bout, Álvarez would fight for their title.