By: Hans Themistode
Most of the boxing world was left shellshocked when it was announced that Canelo Alvarez would move up from 168 pounds to the cruiserweight division to take on WBC belt holder Ilunga Makabu.
Although the Mexican star once captured a world title at 175 pounds against Sergey Kovalev in 2019, he admitted soon after that fighting as a light heavyweight for a protracted period of time would be too much of an ask of his body. Still, despite those words, Alvarez will look to reign as a cruiserweight champion in the first half of 2022.
While Mauricio Sulaiman, President of the WBC sanctioning body, has allowed Alvarez to skip the line and challenge Makabu for his world title, the Mexican product could be forced to change course as Makabu is set to take on Thabiso Mchunu on January 29th.
Should Makabu take care of business, he’ll walk into a showdown against Alvarez as the considerably bigger man. Still, despite dwarfing the pound-for-pound star, newly retired fighter turned trainer Malik Scott, believes Makabu is essentially going to be a walk in the park.
“Canelo is just too technically sound for him,” said Scott during an interview with ESNEWS. “He’s never fought anyone as surgical as Canelo, especially when it comes to going to the body. I think stylistically, he’s food for Canelo.”
Alvarez, 31, is still basking in his recent undisputed glory. After stripping away the super middleweight titles of Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders, Alvarez became the first fighter to hold all four world titles at 168 pounds following his 11th round stoppage victory over Caleb Plant just over a month ago.
Although many expected Alvarez to either campaign at 168 pounds or make a permanent move to the light heavyweight division, he instead opted for history. Should Alvarez capture a cruiserweight world title, he’ll become the first five-division champion of Mexican descent.
By all accounts, Scott isn’t discrediting the overall skills of Makabu. In fact, considering his penchant for knockouts and a title reign that’s on the verge of reaching three years, and the newly turned head trainer tips his cap in Makabu’s direction as a form of respect. However, while Scott is fully aware that Alvarez will face arguably the biggest puncher of his career, Scott doesn’t believe Alvarez will need any help from the judges if and when the two lock horns.
“He’s a good fighter and very suitable and deserves this shot but that guy was chosen for a reason. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if Canelo stopped him.”
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