On Saturday night, Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez proved to the boxing world that he’s one of the best fighters in the world–and certainly the best from Mexico–as he pummeled Julio César Chávez Jr. into a 12-round victory by unanimous decision. Canelo barely looked bothered as he threw punch after punch into Chávez Jr.’s overmatched defense, barely breaking a sweat as he coasted to a win in a fight where he didn’t even need to sit down between rounds.
As part of his commanding victory, Canelo is now in line to accept the huichol belt crafted by the World Boxing Council (WBC) for Mexican boxers fighting around both Cinco de Mayo and September 16–Mexico’s Independence Day. The only problem? Canelo hates the WBC and has said that he will not accept the belt from them, no matter what.
The feud between Canelo and the WBC dates back to 2016, when Mexico’s boxing organization tried to pressure the fighter into setting up a fight against his top challenger, Kazakhstan’s Gennady Gennedayevich Golovkin, widely considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Canelo was, at the time, dealing with a lawsuit brought to him by his old promoters, All-Star Boxing, and so he decided to forfeit his middleweight championship, rather than rush into a fight with such a formidable opponent.
Speaking before the fight against Chávez Jr., Canelo had said that “the WBC made the belt knowing I would reject it. They want to make me look like the bad guy. I respect the Huichol people. I fought many fights in Nayarit.”
And so, after announcing this week that they will formally offer the belt to the Guadalajara-born boxer, the WBC also revealed their contigency plan, in case Canelo goes through with his refusal to accept the strap. The Presidente Adolfo López Mateo belt will be auctioned off, and all proceeds will go towards outfitting sports teams in the huichol community of San Andrés Cohamiata, where the creator of the belt, Luis de la Cruz, is from.
Having dispatched of Chávez Jr., Canelo has finally set his sights on Golovkin, who was in attendance at the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday. Announced in the ring after the one-sided affair, Canelo vs. GGG will take place later this year…on September 16th. It’s certainly possible that Canelo will win that fight and, once again, reject the WBC’s huichol belt. Stay tuned.