Canelo Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KO) will attempt to win a world title in a fifth weight class in his next fight in May, 2022. There has been a good deal of speculation around Canelo’s next choice of opponent after he made history as the first undisputed super-middleweight champion with a win over Caleb Plant on November 6th, but a cruiserweight challenge against WBC title-holder Ilunga Makabu (28-2, 25 KO) was probably not very high on anyone’s list of predictions.
On Tuesday evening, the WBC announced that it approved Canelo’s request to challenge their WBC title-holder for his next fight on Cinco de Mayo weekend, 2022. This move is somewhat reminiscent of Roy Jones Jr moving up to heavyweight to challenge and defeat WBA heavyweight title-holder John Ruiz in 2003.
This matchup may not garner the same attention one with Jermall Charlo, David Benavidez, or a trilogy fight with Golovkin would, but it really does present a difficult challenge for the Mexican superstar. Makabu is no household name, and the cruiserweight division overall doesn’t contain many fighters familiar to American audiences. However, Makabu is an all-action fighter, and certainly a much bigger man than anyone Canelo has faced thus far.
Clearly Canelo sees a pathway to victory here, much like he did against what turned out to be a faded Sergey Kovalev. The 34-year-old Makabu still looks to have what it takes to give anyone in his division the business, let alone a former junior-middleweight most recently competing in the super-middleweight division.