Lawrence Okolie wants Canelo Alvarez fight, but is realistic about it not happening
By Sean Jones: WBO cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie says he’d like to take on Canelo Alvarez, but he doesn’t see the fight taking place for obvious reasons due to his size and power.
The 6’5″ Okolie (17-0, 14 KOs) has too much size and power for the 5’7″ Canelo to deal with. He understands why Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) has opted to take on the 5’11” WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu instead.
Boxing fans weren’t asking Canelo to jump up to cruiserweight to find an opponent. They would have been pleased if he had stayed at 168 and taken on former WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez, Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade, or Gennadiy Golovkin next.
If Canelo wanted to go up in weight, fans felt that he should have gone to 175 and taken on IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev, WBA champ Dmitry Bivol or WBO belt-holder Joe Smith Jr.
Canelo may have thought that he would be applauded when he announced that he was going up to cruiserweight to fight for a world title in his first fight, but the reaction has been the opposite from fans.
They see it as a cherry-picking move by Canelo, 31, due to him fighting arguably the most vulnerable of the cruiserweight champions in Makabu (28-2, 25 KOs), who has been a low-profile fighter during his 13-year pro career and one-year reign as the WBC champion.
Canelo is expected to face Makabu next May on the Mexican holiday weekend on Cinco de Mayo. Picking that holiday will ensure that Canelo brings in good viewing numbers and pay-per-view buys.
Okolie has too much size for Canelo
“I would love the fight, but I’m realistic with everything. Canelo is a great fighter, but there are weight classes with height and reach and power, in my opinion, it’s too much,” said Lawrence Okolie to iFL TV in reacting to Canelo moving up to cruiserweight to challenge WBC champion Ilunga Makabu for his title.
“We don’t know what he thinks of himself, but Makabu is 5’11”, 6’0″ at the most, so he’s [Canelo] chosen a lot more attainable fight than someone like myself that can make it very long and awkward and fight him with one shot.
“In my opinion, it wouldn’t make sense. I wouldn’t advise my fighter to box me,” said Okolie. “I always think very rationale. I’m not going to go around screaming and chasing anyone.”
Canelo knows his limitations, obviously, which is why he’s picked out the 34-year-old Makabu to fight for his fifth division world title rather than Okolie or IBF cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis.
Makabu: Canelo is crazy
“This is a very nice opportunity to fight the best boxer in the world and the planet in Canelo Alvarez,” said Makabu to Fight Hub TV. “I can say he’s crazy because he’s chosen to fight a dangerous man.”
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