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Sources: Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin strike verbal deal to fight in 2017

Canelo Alvarez, left, and Amir Khan trade punches during their WBC middleweight championship bout in Las Vegas on May 7.
(Isaac Brekken / Associated Press)

Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin have struck a verbal agreement to stage their anticipated middleweight fight in the fall of 2017, according to their promoters, who connected with talks that began two days ago in Los Angeles.

The 25-year-old Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 knockouts) is granted a reprieve from fighting the three-belt middleweight champion Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) while he’s performing at his peak, and the Mexican star’s team can work to further heighten the worldwide appetite for the bout.

“They made it clear they want to build it up for next year,” Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler told the Los Angeles Times Wednesday. “There’s nothing binding, but Canelo and [promoter] Golden Boy seem sincere in making the fight happen if we can work out the details.

“We just had a discussion about how to position the fight the right way. … If it happens in a year – I know fans are disappointed the biggest fight in boxing isn’t happening as quickly as possible – but a year is better than it happening five years from now.”

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Golovkin will turn 35 by next fall. A boxing official close to Alvarez said he will fight at the light-middleweight limit of 154 pounds in his next bout, likely to be Sept. 17 against an opponent to be finalized, before gravitating to 160.

Alvarez’s camp says he wants to elevate his weight more comfortably before meeting a powerful champion riding a 22-fight knockout streak.

After knocking out Amir Khan in the sixth round on May 7 to open T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Alvarez also wants to maximize his purse in the most difficult fight he’ll confront since his 2013 loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Loeffler said, “It’s not a fear factor with Canelo, but a consideration to the marketing side.”

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Golovkin has won 16 consecutive World Boxing Assn. middleweight title fights, and he’s added the International Boxing Federation version in October and then the World Boxing Council version because Alvarez declined to meet a WBC mandate to fight Golovkin next.

Golovkin is also expected to fight around September, possibly against England’s Chris Eubank (22-1, 17 KOs).

“We’ll continue to make the best fights possible for Gennady and continue to build his brand that way,” Loeffler said. “Eubank, if he wins Saturday, that’s a great fight.”

In a conversation last week with The Times, Golovkin trainer Abel Sanchez said of Golovkin-Alvarez, “When they get in the ring and touch gloves, that’s when the fight will happen.

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“It’s a lot of posturing on their part. That’s OK. They have their direction and we have our own direction.”

From that, Sanchez said Eubank qualifies as “the best available guy who’s willing to get in the ring with Gennady.

“It could be a big fight in England,” Sanchez said. “Everybody wants to fight Gennady until we say they’re next.”

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

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