Canelo Álvarez has fractured his right thumb, scrapping plans for a big December fight in New York City.
The WBO light middleweight champion sustained the injury in the second round of his knockout victory over Liam Smith on Saturday night. Golden Boy Promotions said Álvarez visited a specialist in his home city of Guadalajara, and, after undergoing X-rays and a CT scan, was diagnosed with an avulsion fracture of the right thumb.
Álvarez stopped Smith in the ninth round on Saturday night before 51,240 fans at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Álvarez said after the fight that he hurt his right thumb in the second round, but he still produced three knockdowns, including one with his right hand.
“Canelo does not need surgery and the prognosis is excellent,” Golden Boy Promotions said in a statement on Monday. “Canelo’s hand will be immobilized for the next six weeks, and he will be unable to fight again in 2016. This does nothing to Canelo’s plans to move up and take on the best in the middleweight division next year.”
After Saturday’s fight, Álvarez said: “After I got hurt I probably used my left hand a little more and went to the body a little bit more but going to the body was part of the game plan. I’ve always said you have to be prepared for anything in that ring and that’s what I was. I was prepared for anything.”
Oscar De La Hoya, Álvarez’s promoter, had eyed a 10 December fight at Madison Square Garden, with the likes of David Lemieux, Billy Joe Saunders and Curtis Stevens mentioned as possible opponents. But Álvarez will now either seek a fight in early 2017 or just wait for his scheduled Cinco de Mayo weekend fight in May.
Álvarez’s management said it does not alter their plans for a potential showdown between Álvarez and unified middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin – boxing’s biggest fight – in September 2017.
“If he comes off the rest and feels he wants to do a couple fights before [Gennady] Golovkin, we could have a fight in January or February, but he can’t fight in December,” Golden Boy president Eric Gomez said. “It’s up to him as he’s looking forward to September . September will be the Golovkin fight.”