Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez does not want to be pressured by a deadline to negotiate a fight with Gennady Golovkin, after vacating his WBC middleweight belt.
Because of a WBC mandate saying Alvarez had to reach a deal by May 22 to face undefeated unified middleweight champion Golovkin after retaining his belt via a sixth-round knockout of Amir Khan, the Mexican decided to vacate the title as he wants to negotiate the blockbuster bout on his own terms.
Kazakh Golovkin, who is 35-0, had been the WBC interim champ, along with being the WBA (Super), IBF and IBO champion.
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman confirmed on Wednesday the organization now recognizes Golovkin as its full champion.
"After much consideration, today, I instructed my team at Golden Boy Promotions to continue negotiating a fight with Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin and to finalize a deal as quickly as possible," Alvarez said in a Wednesday statement.
"I also informed the WBC that I will vacate its title. For the entirety of my career, I have taken the fights that no one wanted because I fear no man. Never has that been more true than today. I will fight 'GGG' and I will beat 'GGG' but I will not be forced into the ring by artificial deadlines.
"I am hopeful that by putting aside this ticking clock, the two teams can now negotiate this fight, and 'GGG' and I can get in the ring as soon as possible and give the fans the fight they want to see."
After Alvarez beat Miguel Cotto lost November, Sulaiman wanted Golovkin to be the next opponent for Alvarez, who is 47-1-1 following the May 7 victory, with his only loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Sulaiman eventually allowed Alvarez to fight Khan, but said he had 15 days after that fight to come to terms on a bout with Golovkin. Those were not terms to which the 25-year-old wanted to adhere.
Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya said Alvarez is not ducking Golovkin, by any means.
"He is eager to get in the ring with 'GGG' to show the world that he is also the best pound for pound fighter in the sport, but we won't negotiate under a forced deadline," De La Hoya said.
"Now that the WBC title is off the table, I am hopeful that 'GGG' and his promoter K2 Promotions will come to the table in good faith and get this deal done."