Unified middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez might be back in the ring in short order following his narrow majority decision win to claim the world title from Gennady Golovkin in the year's biggest fight on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Alvarez eked out the victory 115-113, 115-113 and 114-114 in a rematch with Golovkin and could be back in the ring as soon as Dec. 15, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya told ESPN on Wednesday.
De La Hoya said that if Alvarez fights that soon, he would face an opponent to be determined on pay-per-view in either Las Vegas or Madison Square Garden in New York.
De La Hoya said he will be on the phone with Alvarez, who has said he wants to fight once more this year, and others on his team on Thursday to discuss the plan.
"We will get on a call and discuss it with Team Canelo and decide if he will fight on Dec. 15. That's the date he would fight, but we don't know the opponent yet," De La Hoya said.
Alvarez suffered a nasty cut over his left eye against Golovkin, and how the cut heals will also be a factor in whether a fight is planned for December.
"There's nobody in mind yet," De La Hoya said of a possible opponent, though former middleweight world titlist and fellow Golden Boy fighter David Lemieux (40-4, 34 KOs) is a strong candidate and is coming off a spectacular one-punch first-round knockout of Gary "Spike" O'Sullivan on Saturday's undercard. "Canelo is coming off a tough fight. But that's how disciplined and dedicated he is that he wants to fight again this year in December. [Lemieux] is definitely in the running, but nothing is for sure. Canelo wants to fight anybody."
De La Hoya also mentioned a potential fight with interim titlist Jermall Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs), who looms as one of Alvarez's mandatory challengers though he is affiliated with Premier Boxing Champions.
"There are plenty of choices," De La Hoya said. "Once I get the green light [from Alvarez on Thursday] when we talk to him I will get moving. We're going to talk to our partners at AEG and the MGM [who jointly own T-Mobile Arena] and explore other possibilities like New York and The Garden. You have to fight at The Garden some time in your career. It's where all the greats have fought."
A Madison Square Garden official told ESPN that the venue would love to host an Alvarez fight.
What might make planning Alvarez's next fight even more intriguing than usual is who will serve as the broadcaster. Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs), 28, of Mexico, has been under exclusive contract with HBO since 2015 and has had his past seven fights with the network, six on HBO PPV and one on the network.
De La Hoya said he and his team believe Alvarez's contract expired with the conclusion of the Golovkin rematch, though HBO officials disagree.
"We strongly feel this was Canelo's last fight with HBO because his contract is up and my lawyers strongly feel the contract is up," De La Hoya said. "But the great partners that we are, we will always give HBO the first [right of negotiation] and the last [look]."
De La Hoya said he planned to talk to Richard Plepler, the chairman and CEO of HBO, about the situation, rather than HBO Sports executive vice president Peter Nelson.
"I have a call into Richard Plepler, and very soon we will discuss all of that with him," De La Hoya said. "Like I've said, HBO has been family to me and Golden Boy Promotions. We just want to do what's best for Canelo's career. I haven't talked to Peter Nelson, but I will be talking to Richard Plepler. We want to listen to everybody, but we always want to listen to HBO first."
De La Hoya said he wanted to get a sense of HBO's commitment to boxing in the wake of its parent company, Time Warner, merging with AT&T. While the merger was going on HBO dramatically reduced its commitment to the sport.
"I strongly feel HBO is going to be more committed [to boxing] than ever. Now with AT&T and the merger, we had AT&T people at the fight for a reason. Never count out the 800-pound gorilla," De La Hoya said. "Maybe they've been on hiatus for a bit, but it's understandable. They've been going through this merger and there are changes. So it's understandable. We've been patient. We've had other outlets to turn to where we can stay above water and keep our fighters active like with our fights on Facebook and ESPN. So we're managing. HBO is our family and they're always going to have first and last, and they've always been good to us."
De La Hoya said, however, that he will also look at other possible partners for Alvarez and Golden Boy.
"It's up to the promoter to get Canelo the best deal," he said. "Canelo knows what he wants. He wants the best for his career, whether he fights on Facebook, on ESPN, DAZN, HBO or even Showtime."