Ever since Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez was stripped of his World Boxing Council (WBC) middleweight championship last year–when he was unwilling to agree to a fight with Gennady “GGG” Golovkin during a WBC-mandated 15-day window–Mexico’s most famous boxer has had a personal vendetta with the country’s governing boxing body. This hasn’t stopped the WBC from trying to get back into Canelo’s good graces for the purposes of promoting one of the biggest fighters in the world.
Prior to his May 6th fight with Julio César Chávez Jr., the WBC attempted to make a belt specifically for the winner of the bout, but Canelo insisted that he wouldn’t accept it–and he didn’t, after dominating Chávez Jr. Some time has passed since then, but the Mexican fighter still isn’t ready to accept the peace offerings from the WBC; in fact, on top of preemptively rejecting the new huichol belt, Canelo has also refused to accept GGG’s WBC middleweight title if he were to win in their mega-fight on September 16th. You have to give points to the WBC for effort, however, as they’re back at it again.
On Tuesday, the WBC held an event to officially unveil the new September 16 belt; the colorful Huichol belt designed by artists Luis and Sergio De La Cruz is the 2nd edition of the Adolfo López Mateos Belt, following the aforementioned May variant. The belt was made to honor the historic Mexican boxing holidays of May 5th–a.k.a. Cinco de Mayo–and September 16th, which is also Mexico’s Independence Day.
It is unclear whether Canelo will accept the belt if he is the victor, but as of now, it’s safe to assume that he will stick by his anti-WBC stance. As for the WBC, president Mauricio Sulaimán extended the green belt as an olive branch to both fighters, saying this on Tuesday: “The Huichol Belt is a beautiful piece, it has the Mexican flag and the flag of Kazakhstan.”