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Canelo Alvarez moving to cruiserweight to challenge Ilunga Makabu for WBC title

Canelo Alvarez v Daniel Jacobs - Weigh-in Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Speculation has run rampant concerning Canelo Alvarez’s next step after his thorough dismantling of Caleb Plant earlier this month. WBC mandatory challenger David Benavidez seemed the likeliest option if Alvarez elected to defend his undisputed Super Middleweight belts, while WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol looked like his inaugural 175-pound opponent.

In a rather dramatic swerve, Alvarez’s trainer Eddy Reynoso instead asked for and was granted clearance for his charge to challenge Cruiserweight (200 lbs.) champion Ilunga Makabu.

Makabu may not be the absolute best 200-pounder in the world, as that title belongs to IBF titlist Mairis Briedis, but he’s top five at the very worst thanks in no small part to the crushing power that’s ended 25 of his 28 pro victories inside the distance. He’s won nine straight since a 2016 loss to Tony Bellew, and while he’s ostensibly not as problematic a matchup for Alvarez as Briedis or Lawrence Okolie, he’s by no means a pushover.

Canelo has stated that he’ll return to action in May, so there’s plenty of time for this one to come together. We’ll keep you posted as it does.