Saul "Canelo" Alvarez will fight Cuba's Erislandy Lara on July 12 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the boxers' promoter confirmed Monday.
Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions told The Times that the 23-year-old former light-middleweight world champion Alvarez (43-1-1, 31 knockouts) agreed to the bout over the weekend.
Lara (19-1-2, 12 KOs) backed out of his early-May fight against Ishe Smith during the weekend after previously calling out Alvarez following the Mexican's March 8 technical knockout of Alfredo Angulo at MGM Grand.
The bout will be televised by Showtime pay-per-view. Lara is 4-1-2 in his last seven fights, but knocked out Angulo in June 2013 at StubHub Center in Carson after being knocked down twice, and dominated former 154-pound champion Austin Trout by unanimous decision in December.
Alvarez said when the year began that he wanted to fight three times in 2014. He remains on track for a possible fall bout with Puerto Rico's Miguel Cotto, who will fight for his country's record fourth weight-class belt June 7 against middleweight world champion Sergio Martinez of Argentina.
"There's no question 'Canelo' is one of the names that will make an attractive, successful fight," Cotto manager Gaby Penagaricano said Friday. "For Miguel, any big fight is under consideration. He's never backed down from anyone."