Los Angeles - Mexico's Saul "Canelo" Alvarez dumped his World Boxing Council middleweight title on Wednesday, easing deadline pressure that had surrounded his talks for a showdown against now-undisputed champion Gennady Golovkin.
The WBC had ordered a purse bid for the fight if the two sides could not strike a deal by Tuesday, but Alvarez vacating the crown removes that time factor from the negotiations between promoters.
"After much consideration, today I instructed my team at Golden Boy Promotions to continue negotiating a fight with Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin and to finalize a deal as quickly as possible," Alvarez said in a statement through Golden Boy Promotions.
"I also informed the WBC that I will vacate its title. I will fight 'GGG' and I will beat 'GGG' but I will not be forced into the ring by artificial deadlines.
"I am hopeful that by putting aside this ticking clock, the two teams can now negotiate this fight and 'GGG' and I can get in the ring as soon as possible."
Alvarez, 25, took the vacant WBC crown last May with a unanimous decision victory over Miguel Cotto and defended the title on May 7 by knocking out Britain's Amir Khan, boosting his career record to 47-1-1 with 33 knockouts.
Surrendering the crown means that Kazakh fighter Golovkin, who holds the interim WBC crown and was a mandatory challenger for Alvarez, will become the WBC champion, adding that title to his International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association crowns.
Golovkin, 34, improved to 35-0 with 32 knockouts last month by stopping previously unbeaten American Dominic Wade. It was the 22nd consecutive victory inside the distance for "Triple G."
Golden Boy chairman Oscar De La Hoya backed Alvarez's move and hoped it would help secure a deal for the showdown.
"He is eager to get in the ring with 'GGG' to show the world that he is also the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, but we won't negotiate under a forced deadline," De la Hoya said. "Now that the WBC title is off the table, I am hopeful that 'GGG' and his promoter, K2 Promotions, will come to the table in good faith and get this deal done."