<
>

Alvarez-Trout bout set for April 20

Undefeated junior middleweight titleholders Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Austin "No Doubt" Trout will meet to unify their 154-pound belts in one of the premier fights of the year after the complicated logistics of the bout were worked out Wednesday.

They will fight April 20 at the Alamodome in San Antonio in the main event of a Showtime card, Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com on Wednesday night.

The fight represents a significant step up in competition for Alvarez, who has grown weary of constant criticism that he is a protected fighter who never has fought a top opponent. For Trout, it's a chance for a second consecutive big-time fight following his decision Dec. 1 against Puerto Rican superstar and former champion Miguel Cotto.

"It's the biggest fight for Canelo, a big step up for him and a world title-unification bout," Schaefer said. "It's two undefeated fighters against each other, two of the best in their weight class.

"Austin Trout is coming off the big win against Miguel Cotto and can get another big win. Canelo wants to shut up all of the doubters. He wants to show he is the best at 154 pounds."

Alvarez (41-0-1, 30 KOs), 22, will be making his sixth title defense and should be even more motivated than usual. Besides facing the best opponent of his career, he'll have a chance to exact a little family revenge.

Trout (26-0, 14 KOs), a 27-year-old southpaw from Las Cruces, N.M., will be making his fifth defense. However, he did win a vacant belt in 2011 when he went to Mexico and easily outpointed Rigoberto Alvarez -- Canelo's older brother -- in his hometown.

"I was trying not to get too excited about the possibility of the fight," Trout said when a reporter broke the news to him that the fight had been set. "Not Canelo personally, but his handlers were 100 percent against a fight with Austin Trout. Canelo would go out there and say this was the fight he wanted, but [Golden Boy promoter Oscar] De La Hoya would shoot the fight down.

"Canelo put his foot down and said this was the fight he wanted. He said he was ready. God bless him. I'm here to show the world he's not. But he made the people who work for him make it happen, and boxing and the fans thank him."

Trout said he doesn't care if Alvarez uses his brother's loss to him as motivation for the fight.

"I'm not worried about what he will do," Trout said. "If I beat his brother or not, it doesn't matter to me, but it was something I was using to entice him to fight me. But I am after his name and legacy. I got my own legacy to push out."

Alvarez-Trout has long been in discussions but was intended to be the co-feature of the May 4 Showtime pay-per-view card headlined by the return of Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a welterweight title defense against Robert Guerrero.

While there were no issues holding up Alvarez-Trout -- both fighters have wanted to fight each other -- getting it finalized for May 4 was daunting. Alvarez was reluctant to lend his star power and popularity to a Mayweather's undercard unless he had a signed contract stipulating that if they both were to win May 4, Mayweather (43-0, 26 KOs) would face him in his next fight.

The Mayweather and Alvarez camps haggled over that for the past couple of weeks. When it was clear that Mayweather would not commit to a fall fight with Alvarez as a condition for him to be on the card, Alvarez told Golden Boy he would not fight on the show, leaving Schaefer to come up with an alternative.

"Canelo's not making it to a Mayweather fight," Trout said. "Our fight is a great matchup not just for me, personally, but for boxing. I know it won't be easy, but we're not here for easy. We're here to be the best. The harder the challenge, the greater the victory. This is the 'Cinnamon' test."

Trout was referencing the English translation of "Canelo," who got the nickname because of his red hair.

"I would have fought on the Floyd undercard because I'm happy for the opportunity, but I'm also happy that we have our own card and venue," Trout said.

While Alvarez, Mexico's biggest boxing star, will get the opponent he has wanted, he won't get to fight on May 4 -- Cinco De Mayo weekend and the traditional date for a major Mexican fight.

Earlier this week, Schaefer finalized a significant fight between junior featherweight titlist Daniel Ponce De Leon and Mexican countryman Abner Mares, a former junior featherweight and bantamweight titleholder who is moving up in weight. They were set to fight April 20 on Showtime at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. However, because Alvarez-Trout will happen April 20 instead, Schaefer said Ponce De Leon-Mares will move to another date in the spring or early summer and likely move to a new venue.

"For the Ponce De Leon-Mares fight, the feedback has been absolutely incredible," Schaefer said. "So it's definitely a fight that will happen. It's a fight that is made. It's just a matter of us finding a new date. Showtime is drooling over this fight and so are fight fans. We just have to lock in the exact date and check on venue availability."

For weeks, there has been chatter about Alvarez and Trout squaring off the on Mayweather's May 4 undercard, even before Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KOs) was announced as his opponent last week. Schaefer said he worked hard on getting it done, but it didn't work out.

"I kept saying all along that I would work on it and see if it can be done," he said. "People were saying it was done, but I never said that. But I'm not disappointed. I am happy for the sport of boxing to have Floyd Mayweather back against Guerrero, a guy I consider the most dangerous guy out there. I'm happy for Robert to get this opportunity against Floyd and I am happy for Canelo and Trout, as well.

"Canelo will have his own date and fight in Texas, which he has wanted to do for a long time because he has so many fans there, and he's in a huge fight. So I have Floyd Mayweather fighting a Mexican-American on Cinco De Mayo and I got Canelo-Trout done. Hallelujah for fight fans. So the two fights will be spread out a little bit. The [Mayweather-Alvarez] fight eventually is going to happen, but right now, let's enjoy two unbelievable fights."