Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will move up to cruiserweight to fight Ilunga Makabu for the WBC title with the goal of becoming a five-weight world champion.
Alvarez’s final move to cement his legacy as one of the greatest fighters of all time came less than two weeks after he became the undisputed super middleweight champion by stopping Caleb Plant in Las Vegas.
“The WBC has approved unanimously Canelo to fight for the WBC cruiserweight championship,” president Mauricio Sulaiman said.
“This is a surprise to me but I’m sure he will continue to make history.”
Alvarez, with his record of 60 fights with just two losses, is considered by many to be the best pound-per-pound fighter in the world, and has already won super middleweight, middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight titles.
Only five people were five-time world champions – Americans Floyd Mayweather, Oscar de la Hoya, Ray Charles Leonard and Thomas Hearns, as well as Manny Pacquiao from the Philippines. American Amanda Serrano and Naoko Fujioka from Japan have achieved success in the women’s code.
Makabu, 34, has been on a nine-game winning streak since losing to Tony Bellew at Goodison Park in 2016 and is Africa’s only current world champion.
The Democratic Republic of Congo fighter has held the WBC title since January 2020, and defended it later that year, but has yet to fight in 2021.
In comparison, Alvarez completed a remarkable 12 months of action by knocking out Plant in the eleventh round of this month’s super middleweight bout.
The Mexican started an exciting period when he stopped the then unbeaten world champion Callum Smith in December 2020. Alvarez returned to the ring in February to bid farewell to compulsory challenger Avnie Yildirim in three rounds, before being stripped of fellow undefeated world champion Billy Joe Saunders. WBO title in May.
Alvarez, 31, returned to super-middleweight after a successful jump to light heavyweight in 2019 when he knocked out Sergey Kovalev to win the WBO title.
Cruiserweight is the last weight class before heavyweight. The division is home to players like British duo Richard Riakporhe and WBO belt holder Lawrence Okolie, while Latvian Mairis Briedis holds the belts of IBF and Ring magazines and French Arsen Goulamirian is WBA (super) champion.
Okolie (17-0) was clearly frustrated with the news of Alvarez’s move to cruiserweight division as the undefeated Briton works to secure a Unification bout in 2022.