Red Alert! Cruising with Canelo
By Robert Ecksel on November 18, 2021
Canelo could retire tomorrow and waltz into Canastota, with or without a cruiserweight belt.
While Showtime was hyping a potential fight between Canelo and David Benavidez after the latter’s stoppage of Kyrone Davis over the weekend, the WBC Board of Governors teamed up with Team Canelo on Tuesday at the 59th WBC Convention in Mexico City, and unanimously approved the request of Canelo’s coach and manager, Eddy Reynoso, to challenge WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Junior Makabu (28-2, 25 KOs) in 2022.
Reynoso told ESPN Deportes, "I know... what he has done with the heavyweights he spars with, and that is why we asked for the fight. 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."
So does everyone else.
He failed to mention that Showtime, PBC, and David Benavidez were thrown under the bus. But boxing turns the page like a speed-reader on meth. Last week is already ancient history.
The Red Menace from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, who two short weeks ago made news by becoming the first undisputed super middleweight champion in history, is about to make history again when he faces Makabu. His promoter, Don King, with the options dancing in front of his eyes, has been silent thus far, a notable change from the rambunctious Hall of Fame promoter.
Canelo’s bona fides are already well established. He could retire tomorrow and waltz into Canastota, with or without a cruiserweight belt. Having already won titles at junior middleweight, middleweight, super middleweight, and light heavyweight, this move from 168 to 190 pounds is Canelo’s latest bid for immortality. All that stands in his way are Don King and Ilunga Makabu.
Makabu won the vacant WBC title with a unanimous decision against Michał Cieślak in January 2020. He successfully defended the title 10 months later and has not fought since.
But Makabu’s feeling pretty chipper at the news.
He told FightHype, “I’m feeling good because it’s a nice opportunity to fight the best boxer on the planet, Canelo Alvarez."
When asked about Canelo’s historic performance against Caleb Plant, the Congolese cruiserweight said, “I’m interested in making my own history,” before adding, “I love boxing. I’m a man. He’s a man. I want to give Canelo what he wants. I’m not going to win on points. I’m going to win by knockout.”