WBC 168-lb title on line for Canelo vs. Smith on Dec.19th

By Boxing News - 12/12/2020 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose: The World Boxing Council has decided to have their vacant WBC super-middleweight title on the line for the December 19th fight between WBA 168-lb champion Callum Smith and Canelo Alvarez at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman’s decision to have the sanctioning bodies’ vacant 168-lb title at stake for the Canelo-Smith fight this month means the winner will hold the WBA, WBC, and Ring Magazine super middleweight title.

Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) has already said he wants to unify the 168-lb division before going in another direction towards a trilogy match against Gennadiy Golovkin and other fights.

Canelo vs. Smith winner must face Yildirim next

One major negative in the vacant WBC 168-pound title being on the line for Canelo vs. Callum on December 19th is the winner has 90 days to defend the title against #2 Avni Yildirim.

Image: WBC 168-lb title on line for Canelo vs. Smith on Dec.19th

There’s no interest from U.S boxing fans in watching Canelo beat up the arguably underserving Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs), who hasn’t fought in almost two years since losing his last fight against Anthony Dirrell in February 2019.

Additionally, Yildirim’s only other fight against a notable contender ended badly for him in getting stopped by Chris Eubank Jr in three rounds in 2017.

It’s unclear why the WBC has Yildirim ranked at #2 with their organization. It’s one of those mystery rankings and that makes you wonder what the WBC thought when they placed ‘Mr. Robot’ Yildirim so high in their rankings.

It might be better for the winner of the Canelo vs. Callum winner to vacate the WBC 168lb title unless the sanctioning body allows them to ignore Yildirim and go after the IBF champ Caleb Plant or WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders. Canelo doesn’t need to invest time facing a guy that the fans have zero interest in seeing him fight in Yildirim.

That fight is so bad that it’s hard to imagine DAZN wanting to show it on their platform. Canelo can’t take a fight against Yildirim and stick it on pay-per-view in the U.S because there would no interest from fans.

Hearn pleased WBC 168lb title up for grabs

“I am delighted that the winner of this fight will be crowned the WBC World champion at 168lbs,” said promoter Eddie Hearn.

“Canelo Alvarez is the pound-for-pound best fighter on the planet, and Callum Smith is the number one Super-Middleweight on the planet – so it is fitting for the winner to proudly wear the green and gold belt on December 19.”

The WBC super-middleweight title was recently stripped from champion David Benavidez after failing to make weight for his title defense against Roamer Alexis Angulo last summer on August 15th. Benavidez (23-0, 20 KOs) came in over the 168-lb limit at 170 3/4 pounds.

Image: WBC 168-lb title on line for Canelo vs. Smith on Dec.19th

U.S boxing fans would much prefer to see Canelo take on #1 WBC Benavidez for the vacant 168-lb title rather than Yildirim, with him coming off a loss 36-year-old Dirrell last February.

Canelo has never shown interest in fighting Benavidez for some strange reason, and it’s possible that he would elect not to fight for the vacant WBC 168lb belt if he knew that he had to face him.

Benavidez is a bad match-up for Canelo, which might be the reason why the superstar has never shown any interest in fighting him.

WBC president says Yildirim helped

“The WBC is extremely proud to have such tremendous fight for the vacant WBC Super-Middleweight title,” said WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman.

“I would like to personally praise Avni Yildirim for his exemplary collaboration to make this a reality.”

You can understand why Yildirim is on board with letting Canelo and Smith fight for the vacant WBC title because he gets to fight the winner.

If the WBC wanted to play hardball, they’d do the logical thing, which is to order #2 Yildirim to face #1 Benavidez for the vacant WBC super-middleweight title.

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If the fight happened, there would be only one winner, and most boxing fans would agree that Benavidez would win with ease.