Good news came to the Canelo Alvarez camp today, as a second opinion from a hand specialist in Los Angeles concluded what a previous doctor had advised, which is that Alvarez will not require surgery on his broken thumb and will be set to return early in 2017.
Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KO) was recently in action on September 17, dominating Liam "Beefy" Smith en route to a 9th round TKO. Canelo moved down to junior middleweight for this fight and discharged Smith from his title with a brutal body shot in the 9th that left the former champion unable to continue. While the Englishman put up a great fight at Cowboy Stadium, it was obvious, as most assumed before the fight, that Canelo would have his way with the less experienced Smith, and he did just that.
Canelo's injury has led to a lot of changes to the boxing landscape. He was schedule to come back on December 10th for a fight on HBO, however the fractured thumb will undoubtedly keep him out well beyond that point. As Golden Boy president Eric Gomez put it, "he's open to a fight in the first quarter, assuming there's no discomfort with his hand, but we'll have to play it by ear".
While Alvarez will be sidelined for the foreseeable future, HBO now has a little wiggle room in their budget, which has already led to a fight between super featherweights Orlando Salido and Takashi Miura being schedule for December 17th, with there also being serious talks for a unification bout between middleweight's Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs on December 10th to replace the anticipated Canelo bout. This could be huge news for Golovkin, as he has been chasing the Alvarez fight for years and would salivate at the opportunity to fight on the night originally schedule for the Mexican superstar.
We are most likely to see Canelo move up to middleweight upon his return in an attempt to become accustomed to the weight before a showdown against Golovkin in the fall of 2017. Alvarez's team has said they want him to fight twice before taking on the middleweight slugger, so a return early in 2017 would be vital in order to make that happen.
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