by Hack Allen: Ilunga Makabu (28-2, 25 KOs) needs to impress this Saturday night in his WBC Cruiserweight title defense against #1 Thabiso Mchunu (25-3, 13 KOs) to stay in the picture for a fight against Canelo Alvarez in May . VII.
Canelo did not say if he plans to fight the next Macabo on May 7 at Cinco de Mayo weekend. However, he and his coach/manager Eddie Renoso took the time to come to the WBC conference to ask for permission to go up to Cruiserweight to challenge him.
The idea behind Canelo’s transition to cruiserweight is to win a world title in the Fifth Division. He wouldn’t stay in that weight class.
That would be just one event and action for the 31-year-old Canelo against Macabo, after which he would drop to 168 or possibly fight at 175.
34-year-old Makabu will defend his WBC title on Saturday, January 39, against 33-year-old Mashuno in a rematch at Packard Music Hall in Warren, Ohio.
Seven years ago, Macunu rallied to stop Mchunu in the eleventh round in May 2015. Since that fight, Mchunu has been up and down, winning seven while losing three. Most recently, Mchunu has been winning and will be in the title fight on Saturday against WBC champion Makabu with a three-fight winning streak.
Eric Morales says Canelo takes a big risk
“I think it’s a great opportunity for fighters in this weight division,” boxing great Eric Morales told Fight Hub TV on Canelo, possibly reaching cruiserweight on May 7.
“He is the world champion in four divisions, and he could be the first Mexican and Latino to be crowned world champion from five divisions,” Morales continued.
“I think it’s a good thing, but very dangerous, But it is worth it. Yes, it is a big risk. It’s going to be tough, as it weighs in at 200 lbs. Let’s see the terms of the fight.
“Well, I really couldn’t tell you,” said the “terrible” Morales when asked if it was true that Canelo was picking the weakest cruiserweight champ at the 34-year-old Macabo instead of the best.
“I don’t know the opponent, and I haven’t seen him fight. He’s the world champion,” Morales said of Macabo.
It wouldn’t be easy for Canelo if Makabu fought to win against him and let his hand go. If Macapo fights as he normally does with strong shots and pressings, Canelo could lose 5’8.
On the other hand, if Macabo fought the way Sergei Kovalev played against Canelo, bluffing and throwing powerlessly with his shots, the Mexican star could win. It is unclear why Makabu would fight in this way, but it is possible.
Leonard thinks Alvarez has the tools
“He has the tools and equipment,” Sugar Ray Leonard said when asked if Canelo could fight in cruiserweight. “It’s all here [brains]. It’s as if I faced [light heavyweight] Danny Lalonde. In fact, I just spoke to him today. Donny is here too, and it was a huge step forward.
“I won the title, but then gave it up because it was too big, too much for me. It just has to be the same.
“Fight your battle and be smart,” Leonard said of what Canelo must do to succeed at cruiserweight. “In boxing, anything can happen, and I say to both guys, good luck,” Leonard said.
Macabo’s size will be Canelo’s biggest problem because he’s petite, and he looked sluggish when he was a killer at 175 in 2019.
If Canelo can bargain with Makabu who needs to get down to 190 to fight, he has a good chance of winning. The rehydration limit will also work with Canelo to weaken the Makabu enough to win.
That would be a double whammy for Makabu if he had to deal with a 190-pound catch weight plus a rehydration limit preventing him from gaining weight again.