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Will Canelo fight his voluntary challenger at 155lbs in May?

canelo5666By Dan Ambrose: WBC middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) did a great job recently of using his superior bulk to defeat a clearly much lighter Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision at a catch-weight of 155 pounds last November to win the WBC 160lb.

Canelo, 25, has since said that he plans on continuing to fight at catch-weights while defending his newly won WBC middleweight title. While it’s one thing for Canelo to be using catch-weights for potentially difficult opponents like Cotto and Gennady Golovkin, but it’s something different if Canelo chooses to use catch-weights for his title defenses against voluntary challengers. Canelo will be fighting next on May 7th in defending his WBC title for the first time against a voluntary challenger. The World Boxing Council determined that Canelo can take a voluntary defense before he starts negotiations for a defense against his mandatory challenger Gennady Golovkin in the second half of this year.

Dragging his middleweight opponents down to 155lbs for his fights could make Canelo look like illegitimate champion in the minds of some boxing fans, especially with him looking so big after he rehydrates for his fights. Being young, Canelo is able to take off huge amounts of weight and rehydrate up in weight to the 170s or possibly even higher in order to get an advantage.

Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya hasn’t yet said whether Canelo will fight one of the World Boxing Council’s top 15 contenders, or perhaps someone from the welterweight (147lbs) or junior middleweight (154lbs) divisions for his next fight.

If Canelo will be defending his title against one of the WBC’s top 15 contenders next, then it will be one of these guys:

1. Jorge Sebastian Heiland
2. Arif Magomedov
3. Michel Soro
4. Ryota Murata
5. Chris Eubank Jr.
6. David Lemieux
7. Dominic Wade
8. Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
9. Avtandil Khurtsidze
10. Daniel Geale
11. Sam Soliman
12. Ievgen Khytrov
13. Nick Blackwell
14. Antoine Douglas
15. Hugo Centeno

Considering that Canelo now holds one of the most valuable titles in the middleweight division in the WBC belt, it would be nice if he held to tradition by fighting at the full weight for the belt instead of looking to gain a handicap, which he clearly doesn’t need being as big as he is. Canelo is rehydrating to light heavyweight for his fights, and it makes zero sense for him to be using a catch-weight of 155lbs given how heavy he is. There are obviously taller middleweights in the division than the 5’9 1/2″ Canelo, but the division goes by weight, and Canelo is definitely one of the heavier guys in this weight class. I think it’s time for Canelo to give up his use of catch-weights for the remainder of his career and focus at fighting at the full weight for whatever weight class he’s fighting in.

It would be refreshing to see Canelo fight at the full weight of the 160lbs in May against one of the better contenders like #1 WBC Jorge Sebastian Heiland or 2. Arif Magomedov. Either of those guys would be perfect for Canelo’s first defense, and it would be even better if he doesn’t use the catch-weight of 155lbs for the title defense.

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