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Canelo to Stay at 168 pounds, Can He Unify Super Middleweight Division?

canelo-to-stay-at-168-pounds,-can-he-unify-super-middleweight-division?

Following his impressive win over Callum Smith on December 19th, Canelo Alvarez and his team made it clear that they were leaving behind the 160 pound weight class to remain in the super middleweight division.

However, this decision was made based on Alvarez’s goal to unify the 168 pound weight class and not for any other reason despite what some conspiracy theorists are claiming.

Canelo got off to a good start with the win over Smith because it earned him the WBA and WBC super-middleweight titles. Alavarez can now turn his attention towards the other two champs in the division.

With that said, Canelo made the following comments on his plans for 2021 and that includes three fights with the goal to unify the division:

“It’s a pretty simple plan for 2021, fight for all of the belts at 168 and fight three times, maybe four. I want to take all of the titles (at 168). My goal is to fight anyone at 168 if they have a title, that’s who I’m going to go after. The goal is February, May, and September. That’s our goal for 2021.”

Canelo Vacates WBA Middleweight Title

For the first time since 2015, Alvarez will not hold a middleweight title after vacating the WBA middleweight belt. This move has opened up the WBA to set up some intriguing fights for that title.

Alvarez’s camp believes that 168 pounds is a good weight for him. They feel that Canelo is able to keep his speed and agility, while building upon his boxing skills and power.

Canelo Alvarez Officially Vacates WBA Middleweight Title https://t.co/WlyWpqFqtM pic.twitter.com/6sMq6Gk37o

— BoxingScene.com (@boxingscene) January 1, 2021

That was evident in his fight against Smith where Canelo took on a bigger fighter with the reach advantage, but still powered his way through to an easy unanimous decision.

This weight class looks ripe for the picking as the other two champs Billie Joe Saunders and Caleb Plant appear to be winnable fights for Alvarez.

Who Will Canelo Alvarez Fight Next?

To the disappointment of everyone not associated Avni Yildirim, all signs are pointing towards Canelo Alvarez fighting Yildirim on February 27th in Guadalajara, the birth place of Alvarez.

The WBC is pushing for this as they claim that Yildirim is the mandatory challenger and a very good fighter:

“Yildirim is the next opponent for Canelo due to the WBC mandatory protocol. Yildirim is a very good fighter and is willing to fight the best. If Yildirim is able to do it, we’re willing to do it too. Why not?”

Once again, this an example of what’s wrong with the sport of boxing. Nobody cares about this matchup. It won’t even be a competitive one. The WBC should want Alvarez to unify the titles that way when he fights its mandatory challenger, it would be for even higher stakes.

Instead, the WBC just wants a cash grab and will force Canelo into a bout that he should easily win.

Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) hasn’t fought in two years since his bout against Anthony Dirrell via 10th round TKO in February 2019. He tested positive for PEDs two months later.

This is nothing more than a glorified sparring session for Canelo. After he crushes Yildirim, Alvarez will get back on track to fighting one of the following fighters:

Can Alvarez and Saunders Get a Deal Done?

  • Canelo Alvarez (-588)
  • Billy Joe Saunders (+400)

Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) is the WBO super middleweight champ and almost secured a fight with Canelo last year. He seems to be the frontrunner for a bout with Canelo after the joke of a fight in February.

With that said, Saunders doesn’t want to wait until May to presumably take on Alvarez. He also wants a fight in February to prepare for Canelo:

“I’m not sitting around waiting until May. It’s just too long. He’s fighting in February so I want to fight in February or the first week of March, something like that. I can’t just let him fight, get into a camp and then roll straight over into another camp. It’s a clever move from them but I want to be out there as well. If he thinks I’m going to be just sitting around until May twiddling my thumbs he’s got another thing coming.”

Negotiations for Canelo Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders are underway 🙌🏻

This would be an absolute belter 🥊https://t.co/28BVpE2I1t

— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) January 1, 2021

Before taking on Alvarez, Saunders is lobbying for a fight against the unbeaten and former 160 pound WBO middleweight champ Demetrius Andrade. The two almost fought in 2018, but it didn’t come to fruition.

Whether Saunders gets a fight between now and May, doesn’t really matter in regards to the outcome with Alvarez. Canelo will overpower Saunders and beat him up on the inside. I expect this to be another unanimous decision win for the sport’s top draw in Canelo.

Hold off on betting on this potential fight. I would wait to see if Saunders fights in February or March and wins because it could lower Canelo’s odds as the betting favorite at boxing betting sites.

Can Alvarez and Saunders Get a Deal Done? –Alvarez (-588)

Will Caleb Plant Be Next?

  • Canelo Alvarez (NA)
  • Caleb Plant (NA)

Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) is the IBF super middleweight champ and is set to defend his title against Caleb Truax on January 30th in Los Angeles. Plant is a large betting favorite for the upcoming fight and should come away with a relatively easy win.

That could put Plant in line for a big fight against Alvarez in May, which is when Canelo usually fights each year.

Plant almost fought Alvarez last year, but his manager didn’t feel that five weeks was enough time to prepare for Canelo. So, Plant rejected the idea and Callum Smith took it.

As we all know by now, Alvarez beat Smith via unanimous decision and pretty much won most of the rounds. Yet, Canelo’s dominant win over Smith didn’t impress Plant:

“I wasn’t overly impressed. I didn’t really see him do something where I was like, ‘Wow! This is, you know, something I haven’t seen or new elements to his game.”

Currently, there are no odds available for a Plant vs Alvarez fight. I would imagine Canelo is a sizable favorite in the -400 to -600 range just like with Saunders.

Will GGG Come up to Super Middleweight?

  • Canelo Alvarez (-265)
  • Gennady Golovkin (-115)

A trilogy fight between Canelo and GGG has been talked about for the last two years. Their first two fights ended in controversy. Yet, for Golovkin to get a third fight, he would have to go up to 168 pounds to fight Alvarez.

Canelo has made it clear that he won’t do anyone favors. Additionally, he’s not as excited over a third fight as the pundits and fans are. However, he did say that if the fight does happen at the super middleweight limit then he would most likely KO Golovkin:

“I’m at 168 and I don’t have to do any favors for anyone. I’m at 168 and our goal is to unify here. I feel good right now, I feel strong. I feel like I’m at my peak and I continue working hard. If a fight happens a third time [with GGG], I feel so good that I most likely knock him out and do some serious damage.”

Canelo Alvarez On Possible Third Showdown Against Gennadiy Golovkin: “I Could Do Some Serious Damage” – https://t.co/Vds9OOI6sx pic.twitter.com/2lhlX5BaYP

— Boxing Insider.com (@BoxingInsider) January 5, 2021

Unlike with Canelo, I’m not sure GGG would have the same success going up in weight. Furthermore, Alvarez seems to be at the top of his game whereas Golovkin seems to be on the downside of his peak.

Nevertheless, we all still want to see this trilogy fight due to how close the first two bouts were. In fact, most of us feel that GGG won at least one of those first two bouts.

As for where to place your money, it has to be on Alvarez especially at a higher weight class.

Will GGG Come up to Super Middleweight? –Alvarez (-265)

Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed “King of the Blog” in his first year with the site. …

View all posts by Rick Rockwell

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