Canelo Alvarez
Canelo Alvarez invited Golovkin into the ring after knocking Amir Khan out Getty

Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez has relinquished his WBC middleweight title to Gennady Golovkin but still wants to set up a showdown with the undefeated Kazakh.

Golovkin, who also holds the WBA and IBF belts, had been mandatory challenger for Canelo's WBC belt, which he successfully defended in a stunning knockout victory over Amir Khan in May. The 25-year-old Mexican and his promoters Golden Boy have a 22 May deadline to set up the Golovkin fight, regarded now by many as the biggest bout on the planet.

Canelo has since relinquished the belt and insists he will not be rushed by boxing authorities – but insists the fight the world is waiting for will still happen.

A statement issued by Canelo read: "After much consideration, today I instructed my team at Golden Boy Promotions to continue negotiating a fight with Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin and to finalise a deal as quickly as possible.

"I also informed the WBC I will vacate the title. For the entirety of my career, I have taken the fights that no one wanted, because I fear no man. Never has that been more true today.

"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 that the two teams can now negotiate this fight, and GGG and I can get in the ring as soon as possible and give the fans the fight they want to see."

Canelo, whose only career defeat came to Floyd Mayweather in 2013, invited Golovkin into the ring following his win over Khan in Las Vegas. "I invited him to come to the ring. Like we say in Mexico 'we don't f***around," he told HBO after his last fight. "I don't fear anyone; we don't come to play in this sport. I fear no one in this sport. Right now I will put on the gloves again and fight him."

Golovkin, 34, holds a 100% professional career record, undefeated and winning 32 of his 35 fights via knockouts.