Saul “Canelo” Alvarez backed off participating as a May 4 undercard fighter to Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Wednesday. Alvarez’s promoter announced that the Mexican star will fight Austin Trout in a super-welterweight title unification bout April 20, probably in San Antonio.
Alvarez, 22, wanted Mayweather Jr. to sign a contract stipulating the next fight after his welterweight title defense at MGM Grand in Las Vegas versus Robert Guerrero would be against Alvarez.
Mayweather declined and Alvarez jumped ship, depriving Mayweather of a substantial box-office and pay-per-view draw.
Golden Boy Promotions Chief Executive Richard Schaefer first told The Times on Wednesday that he was working to move Alvarez (41-0-1, 30 knockouts) off May 4.
“He was on the card, but only with a signed contract. … Floyd isn’t opposed to that, but he won’t sign a contract,” Schaefer said. “He says all 100% of his focus needs to be on Robert Guerrero, and he’s not thinking about ‘Canelo’ until after this fight.”
Now, Alvarez confronts a rugged test against a disciplined, defensive, unbeaten fighter coming off a convincing victory over former multi-division champion Miguel Cotto.
“Trout is a dangerous fight for ‘Canelo,’ but he tells me, ‘I’m not afraid of anybody,’ and he wants to silence those who question him,” Schaefer said. “He told me, ‘This is my time, let’s fight.’ ”
Alvarez will arrive in Southern California next week to start training.
Alvarez’s date shift moves Golden Boy’s planned World Boxing Council featherweight title fight between the Southland’s Abner Mares (25-0-1, 13 knockouts) and hard-hitting southpaw Daniel Ponce De Leon of Huntington Park to an undetermined date probably in May or June, Schaefer said.
Schaefer is also in the process of adding a good junior-welterweight fight to the Mares-Ponce De Leon card featuring Riverside’s Josesito Lopez vs. Marcos Maidana.
Mayweather signed a new pay-per-view deal with Showtime and its parent network CBS this month, which could have him fight six times in a 30-month span.