By: Hans Themistode
The pot has been sweetened for the winner of Canelo Alvarez vs Callum Smith next weekend on December 19th. Originally, Smith’s WBA and Ring magazine world titles were on the line. However, with the WBC belt currently vacant, Mauricio Sulaiman, President of the sanctioning body, has decided to make the winner of Smith vs Alvarez a unified champion.
“The WBC is extremely proud to have such tremendous fight for the vacant WBC Super-Middleweight title,” said WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman. “Canelo and Callum will give the world a superb closing of a difficult year and will make fans from around the world celebrate with much entertainment and enjoyment. I would like to personally praise Avni Yildirim for his exemplary collaboration to make this a reality.”
The praise heaped on the shoulders of Avni Yildirim is due to his willingness to step aside and allow Smith and Alvarez to compete for the world title. As the number one mandatory challenger, Yildirim was set to take on then-champion David Benavidez. Those plans were immediately scrapped however as Benavidez lost his title on the scales. From there, Alvarez and Yildirim were set to go through with a purse bid so that the two could battle it out for the vacant title. Yet, with Alvarez dealing with legal issues stemming from a contract dispute with former promoter Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions as well as streaming company DAZN, Yildirim was forced to sit patiently on the sidelines.
With Alvarez getting past his legal woes, he opted to bypass Yildirim and take on Smith instead in a much more high profile matchup, his first of the year. To help placate Yildirim’s sacrifices, the winner of Alvarez vs Smith will be given a deadline of 90 days to take him on.
For promoter Eddie Hearn, dragging Alvarez back to DAZN for his contest against Smith after the pair separated only a few months ago was a feat he gushed over. But with the addition of the WBC title, Hearn is currently jumping for joy in his palatial estate.
“I am delighted that the winner of this fight will be crowned the WBC World champion at 168lbs,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Canelo Alvarez is the pound-for-pound best fighter on the planet, and Callum Smith is the number one Super-Middleweight on the planet – so it is fitting for the winner to proudly wear the green and gold belt on December 19.”