Canelo Alvarez gets Approval to Fight Ilunga Junior Makabu

Image: Steve Marcus/AP

WBC approves Canelo Alvarez’s jump to take on Ilunga Makabu for cruiserweight title.

In Mexico City, at the WBC Convention on Wednesday, the organization approved the request of Canelo’s trainer and manager, Eddy Reynoso, to have Alvarez challenge Ilunga Junior Makabu for the cruiserweight title.

Details about the fight are not yet known, but it is expected to take place in May and likely to happen in Makabu’s native Democratic Republic of Congo, ESPN said.

Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) is coming off an 11th-round TKO victory over Caleb Plant earlier this month to unify the super middleweight titles. And with the win, he is the first boxer in history to become undisputed champion at 168 pounds.

Alvarez has never competed at cruiserweight, hence Reynoso needed to petition the WBC to order the title fight. Now that the fight has been approved, negotiations will begin; and if no deal is struck, then a purse bid will be ordered.

Reynoso told ESPN Deportes’ Salvador Rodriguez that “I know … what he has done with the heavyweights he spars with, and that is why we asked for the fight.” He said “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.”

“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,” he added.

Makabu (28-2-0, 25 KOs) is on a nine-fight win streak since his last loss in 2016. He won the vacant cruiserweight title last year January 2020 by defeating Michał Cieslak in sn unanimous decision, and he defended his belt last December with a seventh-round TKO over Olanrewaju Durodola.

The cruiserweight limit was 200 pounds, but it has recently been reduced to 190 pounds. And Alvarez hasn’t competed above 175 pounds but Reynoso says its just another challenge.

“It is one more challenge,” Reynoso said. “Just as we took the challenges at 168 and 175 pounds, now we are going to cruiserweight,” he added.