Following a brief period of discussions that brought the two fighters into a brighter spotlight, Mexican superstar Saúl "Canelo" Álvarez and 154-pound champion Erislandy Lara have come to terms on a bout that will certainly capture the attention of the boxing world. Lara has made it clear in recent time that he wanted to face Canelo (43-1-1, 31 KO's) but due to the fact that the champion boxer had already scheduled a title-defense match against Ishe Smith for May 2 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, it appeared that this highly anticipated showdown would have to wait. After postponing the fight with Smith however, Lara (19-1-2, 12 KO's) now has a clear schedule, something that makes Canelo extremely happy.

“Lara, the media and fans around the world wanted this match to take place,” Álvarez, who dropped the only match of his career to undefeated Floyd Mayweather Junior in September of 2013, said from Guadalajara, Mexico this week. “Here I am to amply fulfill them, since I have no doubt that everyone will be satisfied. This fight against Erislandy Lara is very important in my career. Lara is an opponent with vast experience in both the amateur and professional field, and I am sure the styles will match to provide an explosive battle and great atmosphere that night.”

The match-up between Canelo and Lara is scheduled as a 12-round nontitle fight with a maximum weight of 155 pounds, which is one pound over the division limit. With the top two 154-pound fighters in the sport set to meet on July 12, 2014 from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for a Showtime Pay-Per-View contest, Álvarez and Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer said that this fight will be another way for Canelo to showcase his talents, especially since he feels that Lara is the best fighter in the 154-pound class after Floyd Mayweather Junior.

“It reminds me a little of the fight Canelo had with Austin Trout,” Schaefer said of the unification bout Alvarez took via decision over Trout last April. “He pushed for the fight even when some people in his camp didn't want the fight and performed well. When Canelo came to the office to meet with me a few weeks ago, he had one name in mind. He wanted Erislandy Lara. He said he feels Lara is, next to Mayweather, the best fighter at 154 and he wants to challenge himself against the best. A lot of people felt he wouldn't fight him, but he wants to show he is not afraid to fight anybody. I tried to mention some other names, but he was very clear: 'Don't talk to me about anyone else. I want Lara.' That's what he said.”