In a daring effort to become a five-division champion, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will face WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu.
At their annual convention on Tuesday night, the WBC granted his request to move up two divisions into a new weight category for a shot at the title in May or June.
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman admitted surprise when he announced that: “The WBC has unanimously approved Canelo to fight for the WBC cruiserweight championship of the world. This is a surprise to me but I’m sure he will continue to make history.”
It has been an incredible year for Canelo. He defeated three unbeaten super-middleweight champions, Callum Smith, Billy Joe Saunders, and Caleb Plant, to become the undisputed champion of the class. On the strength of his achievement, the Mexican is regarded as the world’s number one pound-for-pound fighter.
After two spectacular battles with Gennadiy Golovkin, he won his first world title at super-welterweight and subsequently established himself at middleweight.
Canelo made the courageous jump up to light-heavyweight (his highest weight) and won the WBO belt by knocking out the formidable Sergey Kovalev.
But now he will go one step farther and compete in the cruiserweight division, which is the last division before heavyweight.
Makabu, the reigning WBC champion, was knocked out by Tony Bellew at Goodison Park in 2016, giving the Liverpool native his first world title.
Richard Riakporhe, who fights Olanrewaju Durodola, a Nigerian professional boxer who has held the African cruiserweight title since February 2020, for the ‘silver’ belt on Saturday, has his sights set on Makabu’s WBC gold belt.
It creates the perfect conditions for Canelo to continue to rewrite boxing history, as the WBC President pointed out, with his name in the headlines as unarguably one of the most formidable of cross-division boxers.