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Canelo Alvarez can beat Ilunga Makabu says David Haye

Image: Canelo Alvarez can beat Ilunga Makabu says David Haye

By Sean Jones: David  Haye favors Canelo Alvarez making a considerable jump up in weight to take on WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu on the May 7th Cinco de Mayo holiday in his quest for a fifth division world champion.

Haye believes that Canelo would be choosing correctly if he takes on the 34-year-old Makabu over the other cruiserweight champions in Lawrence Okolie or Mairis Briedis. Makabu is someone Canelo can beat.

Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) still hasn’t said whether to take the fight with Makabu or go in another direction.

This week, there was brief talk of Canelo fighting unbeaten Jermall Charlo next on May 7th. Still, his trainer/manager Eddy Reynoso quickly shot that idea down within 24 hours, saying he wasn’t in conversations with anyone.

Returning to Canelo’s original plan of fighting, Makabu could be viewed as the Mexican star thumbing his nose at the boxing fans, letting them know that he won’t be told what to do by them.

In other words, Canelo will pick whoever he wants, be it Avni Yildirim, Makabu, or Billy Joe Saunders.

Haye raves about Canelo vs. Makabu

“I think it’s a great fight; I think it’s a perfect fight if Canelo is going to dip his toe into the cruiserweight division,” said David Haye to Fight Hub TV. “The WBC title, Makabu holds that belt, and of all the cruiserweight, I’d recommend Makabu as the one.

Image: Canelo Alvarez can beat Ilunga Makabu says David Haye

“He’s a guy that is not as naturally big as the other cruiserweight,” Haye said of the 34-year-old Makabu. “He’s not a Lawrence Okolie, who is a massive,  huge 6’5” cruiserweight, who could comfortably fight at heavyweight.

So, it’s the perfect storm having Makabu as the WBC champion.  It makes for a fight that is quite easy to make and a fight that the fans would be very intrigued and excited about,” said Haye.

It looks like Haye doesn’t  understand the meaning behind ‘a perfect storm.’ It would be a perfect storm for Canelo if Makabu wiped him out, but Haye is talking about the ‘perfect cherry-pick’ in this case.

Haye favors Canelo picking the weakest link among the champions at cruiserweight, and he openly admits it here.

He thinks it’s excellent that Canelo chooses Makabu over WBO cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie to go after his fifth division world title. Many boxing fans don’t think it’s great.

To Sean Jones, it’s like an NFL team being allowed to play in the Super Bowl against a 4-12 team instead of an unbeaten 16-0 squad. There’s a vast difference between Canelo fighting Makabu over Okolie or IBF champion Mairis Briedis.

Fighting those guys would likely result in a guaranteed loss for Canelo unless they performed like Sergey Kovalev did against the red-headed star.

Will Alvarez handle the weight jump?

There are rumors that Makabu will need to come down from 200 to 190 to spot Canelo, a 10-lb catchweight handicap, for the fight.

Canelo won’t need to add as much bulk as some boxing fans believe with that kind of weight alteration. It’ll be difficult for Makabu to take that kind of weight off to get down to 190, and he’s not a spring chicken at 34-years-old.

We don’t know how well Makabu will handle the weight loss for the fight if Canelo insists on it.

I mean, Makabu was a flawed fighter, to begin with, a guy blown out in three rounds by Tony Bellew in 2016. This same British fighter was destroyed by Adonis Stevenson in six rounds in 2013 and beaten by Nathan Cleverly in 2011.

We’re talking about a badly flawed guy in Bellew, yet he efficiently handled Makabu in 2016.

Can he [Canelo Alvarez] make the crazy step up in weight in a similar way as Roy Jones Jr. went up to the heavyweight division and won the WBA title from John Ruiz?”  said Haye.

Canelo handled the weight jump when he fought WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in 2019 at 175.

Yeah, Canelo’s physique looked radically changed, resembling a vascular bodybuilder in a speedy transformation he made with his body, but he could perform with the added weight.

The Canelo-Kovalev looked to some boxing fans like a slow-motion sparring session with Kovalev appearing to pull his punches and not pressing at all. There was something very, very weird about that fight.

Hopefully, Canelo doesn’t have a similar one against Makabu because he will get dumped on by the fans and won’t receive credit for beating the little-known WBC champion.

“So fighters have done it in the past and gone on and made massive strides in weight.

“I did it when I fought someone  [Nikolay Valuev] 100 pounds heavier than myself. He [Canelo] has the ability to do one of those crazy things. He’s that skillful. He’s the man. He did it at light heavyweight,” said Haye.

What Haye isn’t saying is that his 12 round majority decision over then WBA heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev in 2009 was a highly controversial affair in which many boxing fans had him losing the fight. Sean Jones just watched the fight, and he feels that Valuev was robbed by the judges.

He outworked a very timid-looking Haye virtually the entire fight and was on the receiving end of an old-fashioned controversial decision. The battle took place in Germany.

Yes, it’s excellent that Haye beat a guy 100 lbs heavier than him in Valuev, but did he win? No, way. That was one of the worst decisions I’ve seen in my life.

We already know that Canelo has won fights by controversial decisions, as we’ve seen it repeatedly happen in battles with the Mexican star against Gennady Golovkin x 2, Erislandy Lara, and Austin Trout.

With the right kind of scoring, Canelo can beat the limited WBC cruiserweight champion Makabu and bridgerweight belt-holder Oscar Rivas, WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and IBF/WBA/WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk.

I don’t think Canelo beats any of those fighters, but he defeats all of them with the proper scoring, as we saw in his fights with Lara and GGG.

The [Sergey] Kovalev fight was amazing, and yeah, if he sets his fights on a 200-lb title with Makabu holding that belt, I think he has a very, very good chance of being a five-weight champion and winning a cruiserweight title,”  said Haye. That would be a very, very incredible achievement.

“If anyone can do it, Canelo Alvarez can,” said Haye.

There was nothing “amazing” about Canelo’s win over the then 36-year-old WBO 175-lb champion Sergey Kovalev in 2019.

On the contrary, something was alarming about the Canelo vs. Kovalev fight. You look at that fight and think, ‘what an odd bird’ that one was. It looked identical to an exhibition bout a real one, which is why it’s not an amazing one.

Interestingly, Canelo picked the weakest link among the champions at light heavyweight when he moved up in weight to go after his fourth division title.

At the time, Canelo could have picked IBF/WBC champion Artur Beterbiev or WBA champion Dmitry Bivol, but he wanted Kovalev. Why? I think it’s pretty obvious why.

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