New opponent for R. Alvarez

Ricardo Alvarez will still fight, just not for the lightweight title as he had hoped.

Alvarez, the older brother of former junior middleweight titlist Canelo Alvarez, was due to challenge lightweight titlist Omar Figueroa on Saturday night in one of the Showtime PPV fights on the undercard of his brother’s main event against Alfredo Angulo at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

However, this past Friday, Figueroa re-injured his left hand and was forced to pull out of his first defense against Alvarez.

Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer said he hoped to keep Alvarez (23-2-3, 13 KOs) on the card, and on Monday, he delivered. Although the bout will no longer be part of the pay-per-view telecast, Alvarez will fight Mexican countryman Sergio Thompson (28-3, 26 KOs), the longtime junior lightweight contender who is now fighting as a lightweight. They will meet in a 10-rounder on the non-televised part of the card.

Golden Boy also formally announced that the lightweight bout between former two-division titleholder Jorge Linares (35-3, 23 KOs) of Venezuela and Japan’s Nihito Arakawa (24-3-1, 16 KOs) was being moved up the card to be part of the pay-per-view broadcast, where it will replace Figueroa-Alvarez.

Showtime had planned to air Linares-Arakawa during the 90 minutes before the beginning of the PPV telecast. With the lineup shuffle, it instead will air a one-hour “Countdown Live” pay-per-view preview show beginning at 8 p.m. ET.