WBC president wants to see Canelo Alvarez fight Jermall Charlo
By Allan Fox: WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman says he would like to see WBC Franchise champion Canelo Alvarez take on Jermall Charlo. But at the same time, Sulaiman states that the Franchise tag that his organization gave to the 29-year-old Canelo is so that he can fight the best opponents to help the sport of boxing grow.
Charlo is the WBC middleweight champion, and many fans want to see Canelo face him. Last year when the WBC elevated Canelo to the Franchise champion, Charlo was his mandatory challenger at 160. If the WBC hadn’t raised Canelo to Franchise champ, he would have had to defend his title against Charlo.
Sulaiman’s timing for elevating Canelo to Franchise champ
The timing of the WBC elevating Canelo to Franchise champion gives a lot of knowledgable boxing fans the impression that the sanctioning body is protecting him from Charlo. Moreover, a lot of fans believe that Sulaiman DOESN’T want to see Canelo fight Charlo.
So for Sulaiman to say that he wants to see Canelo fight Charlo, this will be interpreted as him being disingenuous. In other words, Sulaiman is just making a throwaway statement to appease the angry fans that believe that the Franchise tag was given to Canelo to protect him from losing to Charlo.
With the Franchise designation that Sulaiman gave to Canelo in June of 2019, he’s free to move among divisions and pick whoever he feels is a fighter that the fans want to see. As far as Charlo is concerned, Sulaiman states that if Canelo were fighting only at 160, then that would be a fight that could be discussed.
Sulaiman says he would like to see Canelo fight Charlo, but he also wants to see him fight other fighters as well. Charlo
Charlo has other fights available to grow
“Yes, it is a possibility. Canelo has fought at 168 and 175 in his last two fights,” said Sulaiman to FIghthub when asked if Canelo would face WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo. “Weight by itself is something those fans should understand and not get concerned.
“If Canelo was fighting at 160 consistently, then it’ something you could discuss. Charlo is doing his own career well. He’s defending his title. He’s a great champion, and he’s a great ambassador in boxing. So I understand fans want to see Charlo-Canelo. I want to see Charlo-Canelo, But I also want to see so many other fights that Charlo has available to grow as a champion.
“But I understand, and I appreciate and respect the concerns. I am a fan, and there are fights that I would like to see. But we cannot have it all. We have to see what matches can be made, and what we try to do is mediate the possibility of those fights being made,” said Sulaiman.
It sounds like Sulaiman is making excuses for Canelo not to have to face Charlo. The problem that Sulaiman has in justifying Canelo as Franchise champion is the opposition he’s facing at 168 and 175. He’s not super talented or popular fighters in those weight classes.
Canelo has fought once at 168, and that was against WBA super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding, a boxer that many fans saw as the weakest champ. At 175, Canelo fought WBO champ Sergey Kovalev. Again, Kovalev was viewed as the lowest of the champions. The superior champs are Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol.
Sulaiman wants to make the best fights possible
“The Franchise designation is not a new championship,” said Sulaiman in explaining why the WBC Franchise tag was created. “It is not a new belt. It is a concept. The Franchise designation is for elite fighters that move the industry of boxing around.
“These are fighters that are in different weight categories and are fighters that have different contractual needs to fight the best competition out there regardless of what championship they’re holding and want division they’re fighting. Canelo Alvarez and Vasiliy Lomachenko hold those characteristics.
“That is why the WBC has implemented a new concept. Nothing ever happened similar to this. I understand there might be confusing for the fans. The reason for this is to have the possibility to make the best fights possible happen.
“If that happens to create anger and confusion in any way, I choose to give boxing the best fights over any other counties,” said Sulaiman.
Canelo isn’t making the best possible fights, and it seems to be a waste of time for him to be a Franchise champ. In Canelo’s last three fights, he’s fought these fighters:
- Sergey Kovalev
- Daniel Jacobs
- Rocky Fielding
Up until recently, Canelo was supposed to be taking on WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders. This, too, is not the best possible fight that can be made at 168. It’s not even the third best.
The best matches at 168 are against the following guys
- David Benavidez
- Caleb Plant
- Callum Smith
- Daniel Jacobs – rematch
Franchise champions have NO mandatory obligations
“There are no mandatories,” said Sulaiman about the Franchise tag. The fights of the Franchise champions are to be approved by the WBC to discuss certain situations, but that’s an idea. The idea is to have them go and fight those many times a mandatory goes and prevents those fights from happening.
“We want the qualifications. We want the bigger fights in weight categories for these franchise champions. A mandatory for an elite fighter of those levels is mostly the fan popularity.
“That’s demand from the fans. So you don’t need a mandatory. You want Canelo to be fighting those specific fights that the fans want to see. And you want Lomachenko to be fighting those specific fights that the fans want to see,” said Sulaiman.
Without having any obligations to fight against mandatory challengers, the Franchise champions like Canelo and Vasiliy Lomachenko can do whatever they want. You couldn’t have this in other sports like the NFL and NBA because there would be too much backlash from the knowledgable fans that owners of the other teams. They would see it as grossly unfair.
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