Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez will meet Daniel Jacobs to unify their 160-pound world titles on May 4 -- Cinco de Mayo weekend -- the fighters announced Thursday.
The venue for the fight is still to be determined but is likely to be T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, site of four of Alvarez's past six fights.
Other than a third fight with former unified champion Gennady Golovkin, an Alvarez bout with Jacobs, who is widely considered the No. 3 middleweight in the world, is easily the biggest in the 160-pound division.
"I'm happy to announce my next fight during the festive weekend of Cinco de Mayo," Alvarez said. "I will unify my middleweight titles against Daniel Jacobs on one of the two most important dates that belong to me. I have no doubt that I will be victorious and that I'll be one step away from becoming the undisputed middleweight world champion."
After Alvarez narrowly outpointed Golovkin by majority decision in their rematch on Sept. 15 in the biggest fight of 2018, he signed an athlete-record $365 million deal with DAZN, moving on from the world of pay-per-view and an expiring contract with HBO, which exited the boxing business at the end of the year.
Alvarez made his debut under his new deal on Dec. 15 by moving up to super middleweight and knocking out Rocky Fielding in three one-sided rounds to win a secondary super middleweight world title at Madison Square Garden in New York
While Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KOs), 28, toyed with the idea of remaining in the 168-pound division, the fight was conceived as a one-off with his intention always to return to the fertile middleweight division.
A third fight with Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs), 36, is possible if he also signs with DAZN, which has made signing him a priority and made him a significant offer that he is weighing. In the meantime, Alvarez will face Jacobs, who also became a broadcast free agent with HBO getting out of boxing.
"Canelo Alvarez wants the best fights and the biggest challenges," said Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya, Alvarez's promoter. "That's what he did as the 154-pound champion, and that's what he's doing now as the king of the middleweight division. We are also proud to demonstrate to boxing fans that this new partnership with DAZN means that fans will get pay-per-view level fights without the cost of pay-per-view. Golden Boy Promotions is continuing its promise to make the sport as accessible as possible by putting this champion-vs.-champion fight on the platform."
Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs), 31, of Brooklyn, New York, battled cancer in 2011 but was able to return to boxing in 2012. He won a vacant middleweight world title by split decision against Sergiy Derevyanchenko in a spirited fight on Oct. 27 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. After the fight he called for a unification bout with Alvarez next.
Now he has just what he has wanted.
"This is the opportunity I have been waiting for. The opportunity to achieve greatness inside the ring," Jacobs said. "I have always believed I can beat Canelo, and on May 4 live on DAZN, I will get my chance to play it out. It's been nearly four years since Canelo has faced an American challenger. It's going to be a huge event where I believe I will cement myself as the best middleweight in the division."
Jacobs, who became a promotional free agent after the Derevyanchenko fight, said he wanted to continue working with Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn and also signed a three-fight agreement to stay with him and have his fights on DAZN, with the fight with Alvarez to be the first bout of the deal.
"This is the moment that I've been waiting for my whole entire career. I've been through so much in life just to get to this point," Jacobs said. "I look forward to taking advantage of such an amazing opportunity. Canelo is a great champion and a worthy opponent to ensure an epic fight the fans will remember for ages. In order to be the best you have to beat the best - this with this fight represents to me."
Jacobs was the first American fighter Hearn signed when he came from England to promote regularly in the United States in late 2017.
"Danny is where it all started for us in America and I want to thank him for believing in us," Hearn said. "It has been a pleasure working with him and his manager Keith Connolly who has fought every inch to get Danny the best opportunities and position within the sport. Danny captured the world title under our guidance and now he enters one of the biggest fights in world boxing to establish his position as the world's No. 1 middleweight. Above that he is a man of class and humbleness and we will always be grateful that he was the trail blazer for U.S. fighters to sign with Matchroom Boxing."