Having conquered the super middleweight division and pondered a move up to cruiserweight, Canelo Alvarez may be interested in a return to his former weight class.
The undisputed super middleweight champion recently has been linked to Ilunga Makabu, the WBC cruiserweight champ, if he successfully defends his title against Thabiso Mchunu on Jan. 29. However, Canelo may have a different challenge in mind.
ESPN’s Mike Coppinger spoke on the “State of Boxing” show and discussed the next steps for Canelo.
Canelo is looking to take a break following a busy 2021 and could return to the middleweight division for the first time since 2019. His opponent could very well be WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo.
“I’m not so sure that Canelo is going to be fighting at cruiserweight or against Makabu,” Coppinger said. “I’m hearing that it is much more likely that he’s going to fight Jermall Charlo on Cinco de Mayo. There are talks right now for that fight.”
Canelo is coming off of a TKO win against Caleb Plant in November to take the IBF super middleweight title. The win resulted in him becoming an undisputed champion in just 11 months.
From 2015 until 2019, Canelo dominated the middleweight division. He beat Miguel Cotto for the WBC title, Gennadiy Golovkin for the WBA title, and Daniel Jacobs for the IBF title.
Besides potential matchups with Charlo and Makabu, Canelo also has shown interest in the light heavyweight division.
Charlo made his pro debut in 2008. A former IBF junior middleweight champion, the 31-year-old won the interim WBC middleweight title in 2018. Promoted to the full-time champion, he has defended the belt five times. His last fight was in June, beating Juan Macias Montiel via unanimous decision.
When Canelo fought Plant, Charlo said on the PBC Podcast he was interested in facing off against the winner.
“Yeah, hopefully, whoever is the winner, hopefully we can make a mega-deal,” said Charlo, via Boxing News 24. “I’m looking for a mega-deal and extend my legacy. If one of those guys gives me the opportunity I’m definitely taking it.”
Plant and WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade have also called out Charlo for a fight.