Canelo Alvarez (57-1-2) recently announced his next move, and it’s a big challenge. Just two weeks removed from his win over Caleb Plant, he has decided to go north 32 pounds to fight at cruiserweight.
The 31-year-old Alvarez was officially approved by the WBC to fight current cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu (28-2) in May 2022 for the latter’s title. A win would put Alvarez in an exclusive category, as one of only six men to win a recognized world title in five different weight classes.
The only fighters to have ever held a title in five different weight classes are Thomas Hearns, ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.
Canelo Alvarez met with 34-year-old Makabu at the WBC Convention earlier today. While there, the two men exchanged words and pleasantries, prior to having the first staredown for their May showdown.
The Congolese Makabu towered over Alvarez in the first presser, as expected. Despite the size difference, Alvarez is expected to be a massive favorite when the two champions hit the ring next year.
Alvarez’s move to fight Makabu came as a huge surprise to many fans
Canelo Alvarez is boxing’s biggest star, and along with that comes the ability to choose what he wants to do. Following the win over Caleb Plant, there were seemingly endless opponents waiting for Alvarez.
Many thought Canelo would challenge someone along the lines of David Benavidez, who picked up a win earlier this month. Other names mentioned were Demitry Bivol at 175 pounds, or another of boxing’s biggest stars in Jermall Charlo.
In the end, Alvarez chose to chase history against Ilunga Makabu. For Makabu’s part, he is confident heading into their bout. ‘Junior’ is coming off a seventh-round knockout win over Olanrewaju Durodola last December to lead into his tilt with Alvarez.
ALSO READArticle Continues below
In his first public comments regarding the bout, Makabu dubbed Alvarez ‘crazy’ for attempting to challenge him. After seeing the size difference in person, it’s likely Makabu only feels ever better about his chances.