Canelo Alvarez and Ilunga Makabu meet at WBC convention
By Huck Allen: Canelo Alvarez and WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu posed for pictures from the media on Thursday when the two met at the WBC’s convention in Mexico ahead of their possible fight in the first half of 2022.
Rather than potential combatants, the smiling Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) and Makabu (28-2, 25 KOs) looked like the best of friends as they shook hands and hugged when they were in center stage.
Canelo, 5’7″, wants to add a fifth division world title to his credentials, and he feels that the 34-year-old Makabu is the perfect opponent for him to accomplish that.
The 6’0″ Makabu says Canelo, 31, is making a mistake in coming up to cruiserweight to challenge him, and he’s going to knock him out when the time comes.
By now, Makabu has gotten wind of the enormous uproar from boxing fans, media, and the fighters over Canelo picking him as his next opponent. Makabut might not be too pleased with hearing them label him as the “weakest link” at cruiserweight.
It’s essential that Makabu put a lot of effort into this fight to dispel the notion that he will give Canelo his WBC cruiserweight title out of gratitude over getting picked out for the massive payday.
Some boxing fans believe former WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev threw his fight with Canelo in being grateful for being given the opportunity for the $10 million+ payday. Kovalev fought the entire battle passively, and many fans felt that he intentionally took it easy on Canelo.
Makabu vowing to knock out Canelo
“I feel good because I always wanted this to happen to fight the best,” said Ilunga Makabu to Little Giant Boxing on Thursday at the WBC convention in talking about his fight with Canelo.
“Canelo is the best boxer on the planet, and I would like to fight the fight here in Mexico. Why do I want to fight in Mexico? Because I have plenty of fans in Mexico.
“I will be there to face Canelo. I’m very happy about the respect he gave to me, and I respect Canelo too, and that is very important. I’m pretty sure people will see a great and very good fight because of both of us.
“He made a mistake to come into the cruiserweight division. I’m going to knock Canelo out of business,” said Makabu.
The punching power will be on Makabu’s side in this fight, but he’s easy to hit and not nearly as skilled as Canelo.
In Makabu’s third round knockout loss to Tony Bellew in 2016, he foolishly backed up against the ropes and let the British fighter bombard him with shots to get the stoppage. If Makabu makes the same mistake against Canelo, he won’t last long.
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