Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez set to challenge Ilunga Makabu for WBC cruiserweight title in bid to conquer a fifth division
Richard Riakporhe fights Olanrewaju Durodola on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports, before Terence Crawford faces Shawn Porter in the early hours of Sunday
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will challenge WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu in a stunning attempt to become a five-division titleholder.
The WBC approved his request to move up two divisions into a new weight category for a shot at the title in May or June at their annual convention on Tuesday night.
“The WBC has approved unanimously Canelo to fight for the WBC cruiserweight championship of the world,” president Mauricio Sulaiman said.
“This is a surprise to me but I’m sure he will continue to make history.”
Canelo has enjoyed a remarkable year, dethroning three unbeaten super-middleweight champions (Callum Smith, Billy Joe Saunders and Caleb Plant) to become undisputed.
The Mexican is feted as the world’s pound-for-pound No 1 fighter on the back of that accomplishment.
He won his first world title at super-welterweight, then became established at middleweight after two classic fights with Gennadiy Golovkin.
He boldly moved up to light-heavyweight (the highest he has been so far) and knocked out the fearsome Sergey Kovalev to claim his WBO title.
But now he will venture even further, into the cruiserweight division, the final category before heavyweight.
The reigning WBC champion, Makabu, was knocked out by Tony Bellew at Goodison Park in 2016 as the Liverpool local became a world champion for the first time.
But Makabu has since impressively rebuilt by beating Dmitry Kudryashov and Alexei Papin on away turf in Russia.
Makabu’s WBC gold is also being targeted by Richard Riakporhe, who fights for the ‘silver’ belt against Olanrewaju Durodola on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.
“Absolutely,” Sulaiman told Sky Sports about Riakporhe’s hopes before hearing Canelo’s request.
“When you become a silver champion it gets you right there in the line.”
Sky Sports Boxing schedule
November 20 – BOXXER in London
Richard Riakporhe vs Olanrewaju Durodola
Florian Marku vs Jorick Luisetto
Hosea Burton vs Dan Azeez – British light-heavyweight title
November 20 – Top Rank in Las Vegas
Terence Crawford vs Shawn Porter – WBO welterweight title
December 11 – BOXXER in Cardiff
Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Williams
Claressa Shields vs Ema Kozin
December 11 – Top Rank in New York
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Richard Commey
Jared Anderson vs Oleksandr Teslenko
Nico Ali Walsh
December 17 – Top Rank in Montreal
Artur Beterbiev vs Marcus Browne – IBF and WBC light-heavyweight titles
February 26 – Top Rank in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall – undisputed super-lightweight title