Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will return to the ring against British challenger Callum Smith on Dec. 19.
Mexican superstar Alvarez has not fought since he became a four-weight world champion last November, stopping Sergey Kovalev in Round 11 of their WBO light-heavyweight title clash.
Since then he has split from Golden Boy Promotions and proposed fights have not come to fruition, including a clash with Billy Joe Saunders that had looked set to happen in September.
There had been reports he planned a return against IBF super-middleweight champion Caleb Plant, but it will be fellow 30-year-old Smith (27-0) who opposes Alvarez (53-1-2) for the WBA super-middleweight belt.
Both currently hold WBA belts in the division, with Smith the ‘super’ champion and Alvarez the ‘regular’ champion.
Alvarez wrote on Twitter: “I’ll be returning to the ring on December 19th to face Callum Smith.”
Alvarez’s previous promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, in February claimed Smith had turned down the chance to fight the man regarded by many as the best active pound-for-pound boxer.
In September 2016, Alvarez beat Smith’s older brother, Liam Smith, by ninth-round knockout in a WBO light-middleweight title fight in Arlington, Texas.
Reports have indicated Arlington is again in the frame to stage next month’s fight, with Smith’s promoter, Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn, confirming it would go ahead in the United States.
Smith said: “I’ve been wanting a big fight since becoming world champion, so I’m so pleased that during these challenging times we can deliver to the fans a fight between the very best in the division.
“I truly believe I beat him and will prove that 168lbs is my division.”