Eleider Alvarez suffers shoulder injury that pushes back fight with Joe Smith Jr.

Eleider Alvarez has suffered a training injury to his shoulder that will cause his July 16 bout versus Joe Smith Jr. to be pushed back, according to Yvon Michel, Alvarez's promoter.

Alvarez-Smith is part of an elimination process intended to fill the WBO vacancy at light heavyweight. The winner of this contest will be mandated to face the winner of the Umar Salamov-Maxim Vlasov bout for the 175-pound championship.

"The former WBO light heavyweight champion, Eleider Alvarez, was injured in training last week," Michel said in a statement. "Last Tuesday he met with the team's doctor, Dr. Francis Fontaine ... and the diagnosis shows an injury to the right shoulder which requires anti-inflammatory treatments, physiotherapy and a stop in sparring for 4 weeks.

"Doctor Fontaine is confident of complete rehabilitation in a few weeks but for coach Marc Ramsay the fact that he cannot allow adequate preparation for his boxer against a dangerous opponent like Smith Jr. in a fight of such great importance, the decision to request a postponement of the fight was necessary."

Michel alerted Top Rank of this development on Wednesday. No make-up date has been announced by Top Rank at this time. "He is expected to be fully recovered -- and ready to fight -- by mid-August," Michel said.