Although the representatives of unified middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez have already begun discussions for a rematch, the WBC on Monday ordered one at its 55th annual convention in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Golovkin retained his title for the 19th time -- one shy of tying Bernard Hopkins' division record of 20 - when he and Alvarez fought to a disputed draw on Sept. 16 at Las Vegas' T-Mobile Arena in one of the year's biggest fights.
Most thought Golovkin deserved the decision, and although judge Dave Moretti scored it 115-113 in his favor, Don Trella had it 114-114 and Adalaide Byrd had a universally criticized scorecard of 118-110 for Alvarez, who even said he did not win by that much.
Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) holds the WBC's 160-pound world title as well as two other major belts and has always abided by the orders of the sanctioning bodies in which he holds titles. Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs), who has no love for the WBC, refused to fight for its belt the first time around.
"Regardless of if they did or didn't order the rematch, we are going to try to make it happen," Eric Gomez, president of Alvarez promoter Golden Boy Promotions, told ESPN on Monday night. "We'll do whatever it takes to make it happen because it's the fight that the fans want, it's what the fighters want, and it's what the media wants."
Gomez and Tom Loeffler, Golovkin's promoter, have been talking about the rematch since shortly after the first fight. The rematch, if it is finalized, would take place on May 5 -- Cinco de Mayo -- at a location to be determined. Loeffler, who is attending the convention, also said the rematch should be made and was pleased by the WBC's mandate.
"It doesn't get any better than the fight with Canelo," Loeffler said. "It really became an international sporting event instead of a world boxing championship match. Gennady still has all his titles. He's still the world champion and this is a fight that the fans want again, so we can have a more definitive ending to the next one. We'll do whatever we can on our side to make it happen."