OSCAR DE LA HOYA insists Canelo Alvarez is not a natural middleweight amid criticism that his charge has not yet signed to fight unified 160lb champion Gennady Golovkin.
A fight between the two superstars would be the biggest the sport could offer today – outside a Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao rematch – and fans have been clamoring for it, prompting De La Hoya to assure the media he would contact Golovkin’s team immediately after Canelo flattened Amir Khan in May.
Instead, Canelo will shed one pound off the 155lbs he has scaled for his last few fights to challenge WBO super-welterweight champion Liam Smith on September 17.
“Yes, I called his [Golovkin’s] people the next day [after the Khan fight] but it didn’t go very far for some reason, it wasn’t our fault, we made the move and decided to fight the very best champion at 154lbs,” he said.
“You have to realise Canelo Alvarez is only moving down one pound, he’s a natural 154lb fighter.
“Canelo Alvarez fought Amir Khan at 155lbs and Canelo Alvarez is a junior-middleweight [super-welterweight], that’s the bottom line. Just like his past fights when he fought [Austin] Trout, Erislandy Lara and Floyd Mayweather, Canelo Alvarez always wants to fight the very best. Our solution was to fight the best champion at 154lbs.
“First thing is first, Canelo has a tough fight in front of him, we at Golden Boy Promotions don’t like to set future fights up or look ahead. After September 17, we’ll sit down and discuss future plans but right now the job is to go out and challenge Liam Smith.”
However De La Hoya has previously revealed that a verbal agreement was reached with Golovkin’s team for the pair to square off in September 2017, to allow Canelo time to acclimate to 160lbs.
In the meantime, Golovkin will defend his WBC, WBA and IBF world middleweight titles against Kell Brook – who is moving up from welterweight – on September 10 in London.