Canelo Alvarez moving on from Bivol: could challenge for cruiserweight title

Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez is reportedly eyeing up a couple of options for his next fight.

By: Lukasz Fenrych | 3 months ago
Canelo Alvarez moving on from Bivol: could challenge for cruiserweight title
Agencia-MexSport/Zuma Wire/Adrian Macias

Canelo Alvarez‘ next fight may be taking shape, per ESPN—and it seems like it won’t be Dmitry Bivol. Instead, in the search for an opponent to take on some time in the autumn, he’s looking at two major options: Jermall Charlo, or WBC cruiserweight champion Badou Jack.

The middleweight champion?

Jermall Charlo, one half of a pair of fighting twins along with brother Jermell, is officially the WBC middleweight title holder. He hasn’t fought since June 2021, which would normally have seen him stripped by now, but WBC president Mauricio Sulemain revealed last month that the fighter’s mental health struggles are why he’s been on the shelf and why the WBC has been willing to let him sit on the sidelines.

In any case, Charlo’s advisor Al Haymon reportedly met with Canelo’s coach Eddie Reynoso recently. What weight this would take place at is not clear. Charlo has never fought above middleweight, but Canelo hasn’t hit 160lbs since 2019, so a fight for his super-middleweight titles seems more likely.

A shot at cruiserweight?

Badou Jack, by contrast, is a former super middleweight and light-heavweight champion who’s fought at cruiserweight since 2021. He won the WBC title in a surprise victory over Ilunga Makabu in February. Makabu, fans may remember, was set to face Canelo himself a couple of years ago. A mandatory with Thabiso Mchunu derailed that though. After Canelo’s own plans went awry with his loss to Bivol shortly after, Makabu ended up losing that title to Jack.

With Jack having history in the lower divisions, and being at the end of his career, Canelo may see a chance to grab another title in a new division from a weakened foe. There appears to be some dispute over the weight though. Jack’s manager, Amer Abdallah, said that that’s the sticking point, with him believing that a title fight at 200lbs should be fought at 200lbs, and not a lighter weight. The implication being that Canelo would like to impose a lighter limit but still have the belts on the line—something Abdallah addressed more directly in a separate interview with Boxing King Media. We’ll see how it shakes out.

“We’re talking to Canelo directly,” Abdallah said of the booking. “There is the intention to have the fight. I believe of the 5 or 6 terms that are there, we’re agreed on the majority of them… I think the only thing that’s sticking right now is where that weight is. Because the financial terms are agreed upon, the date is agreed upon. Everything is there, it’s just that the weight is where the sticking point is.”

Why isn’t Canelo fighting Bivol?

Canelo’s preferred option, of course, seemed to have been a rematch with Dmitry Bivol. That fight, however, has hit an unusual sticking point, with each fighter demanding to fight in the other’s preferred weight. Canelo would like to prove himself on the same terms he lost, at light heavyweight, but Bivol sees no challenge in that. He says he’ll only take Canelo if the super-middleweight belts are on the line. As of now, neither is budging from his position, so both are looking to other options for fights in the autumn.

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About the author
Lukasz Fenrych
Lukasz Fenrych

Lukasz Fenrych is an analyst and writer. He has been covering combat sports since 2019, and joined Bloody Elbow's boxing team in 2022.

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