Canelo Alvarez vs. Ilunga Makabu Cruiserweight Title Fight Approved by WBC

Doric SamNovember 17, 2021

Canelo Alvarez, of Mexico, celebrates after defeating Caleb Plant by in a super middleweight title unification fight Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Steve Marcus)
AP Photo/Steve Marcus

No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer Canelo Alvarez could have the opportunity for a title in a fifth weight class.

According to Mike Coppinger of ESPN, the WBC approved a future bout for Alvarez to challenge Ilunga Makabu for the cruiserweight championship. Negotiations will now begin to determine when and where the fight will take place. A purse bid will be ordered if the sides can't agree on a deal.

Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) is coming off an 11th-round TKO victory over Caleb Plant earlier this month to unify the super middleweight titles. With the win, he is the first boxer in history to become undisputed champion at 168 pounds.

Alvarez has previously held titles at super welterweight, middleweight and light heavyweight.

Makabu (28-2-0, 25 KOs) is on a nine-fight win streak since his last loss in 2016. He won the vacant cruiserweight title in January 2020 by defeating MichaΕ‚ Cieslak by unanimous decision, and he defended his belt last December with a seventh-round TKO over Olanrewaju Durodola.

The cruiserweight limit was 200 pounds, but it has recently been reduced to 190 pounds. Alvarez hasn't competed above 175 pounds, but his trainer and manager Eddy Reynoso believes he'll be prepared for Makabu despite facing a size disadvantage.

"I know ... what he has done with the heavyweights he spars with, and that is why we asked for the fight," Reynoso told ESPN Deportes' Salvador Rodriguez. "We know that [Makabu] is strong, but Canelo can beat him."

Reynoso added that it's just another challenge that Alvarez will have to face, and he's confident that he will be able to conquer this one the same way he's done before.

"It is one more challenge," Reynoso said. "Just as we took the challenges at 168 and 175 pounds, now we are going to cruiserweight."