Undisputed champion Canelo Álvarez is taking zero chills. The Mexican boxer, who currently has four belts in his possession, is looking for his fifth and now has his sights set on his next opponent.
Álvarez wants to step into the ring with Ilunga Junior Makabu. The two boxers met face to face for the first time Thursday (November 19) to get the ball rolling for their fight sometime next year.
The Guadalajara-born fighter will have to move up in his weight class, from 168 lbs. to the cruiserweight division at 175 lbs. to take on Makabu. While a seven-pound weight gain may not seem like much to those who don’t follow boxing, it is, especially since Álvarez has never fought in this weight class before.
Earlier this week, the WBC Convention granted Álvarez’s request to compete as a cruiserweight. Now, the two sides can start negotiating the fight, which will make Álvarez a five-division champion if he can land another victory. Many in the boxing world consider the move by Álvarez to be risky, but those closest to him seem to have no doubt about what the pound-for-pound best boxer in the world can do.
“I know … what he has done with the heavyweights he spars with, and that is why we asked for the fight,” Álvarez ‘s manager and trainer Eddy Reynoso told ESPN Deportes. “We know that [Makabu] is strong, but Canelo can beat him. Many may say that it is crazy, but they also said that it was crazy when Canelo was junior middleweight champion, and we were looking for middleweights, super middleweight, light heavyweights.”
Reynoso added: “I have a lot of confidence in Canelo. He is very strong and has many qualities, and I know that he is going to win that fight.”