Bid to conquer fifth division: Canelo set to face Makabu for WBC cruiserweight title

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.

“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

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