Canelo Alvarez a free agent, released from Golden Boy contract

Boxing's most lucrative fighter is officially a free agent.

After many days of negotiations, representatives for Canelo Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions have reached an agreement to release the four-time champion.

Eddy Reynoso, Alvarez's manager and trainer, confirmed the news in a statement and said Alvarez's free agency is effective as of Friday.

"All this time we have been working very hard in the gym with a lot of responsibility and discipline, to be in great physical shape and ready to fight this year and it will be!" Reynoso said in the statement.

A source told ESPN's Salvador Rodriguez that Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) and his team are targeting a return to the ring Dec. 19 against IBF super middleweight titlist Caleb Plant (20-0, 12 KOs), who fights for Premier Boxing Champions.

The situation between the middleweight champion, Golden Boy and DAZN has been sour since the battle between all parties spilled into court. In September, Alvarez filed a lawsuit in federal court citing a breach of contract on an 11-fight, $365 million deal signed in 2018. A subsequent mediation situation between all parties failed, and the suit was refiled after a technical error.

Alvarez has not fought since November 2019, when he defeated light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev via DAZN. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Alvarez, Golden Boy and DAZN were unable to agree on Alvarez's next opponent and the salary for that fight.

"After extended discussions between the parties, DAZN offered to pay Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions a fraction of the contracted $40 million license fee in cash and some DAZN stock in advance of a potential IPO," according to the initial lawsuit filed in California. "However, the entire value of the package -- for a bout against another World Champion -- was substantially less than Alvarez's contractual guarantee."

When Alvarez initially signed with DAZN, it was a massive moment for the business of boxing. The Mexican champion had agreed to fight on the streaming platform that opted for a monthly subscription over the traditional pay-per-view model used in boxing in recent decades. DAZN also signed Gennadiy Golovkin, whom Canelo has defeated once and drawn with in two controversial outcomes.

However, a third fight to complete the trilogy has become less likely in the wake of Alvarez's release from his promotional contract.

Court filings show that Alvarez's lawsuit was refiled Oct. 8 and an additional motion was submitted by the defendants that said the lawsuit should be settled via arbitration, which Alvarez's side disagreed with. In a statement Friday afternoon, Golden Boy chairman Oscar De La Hoya said both sides had come to an amicable solution.

"The lawsuit was resolved to everyone's satisfaction and we wish Canelo the best going forward," De La Hoya said in the statement. "In the strong partnership with DAZN, we will continue showcasing our wide array of talent, including rising superstars like Ryan Garcia, Jaime Munguia and Vergil Ortiz Jr., all of whom have the talent and potential to become the next biggest star in our sport."

ESPN's Marc Raimondi contributed to this report.