Ilunga Makabu has told Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez that going up to cruiser weight is a big mistake and insists he will ‘100 percent’ knock out the pound-for-pound king.
Canelo, the undisputed world champion in super-middleweight, has made the bold decision to move up to another division in an attempt to become a five-weight champion.
In a spectacular 12-month sweep, the Mexican collected the WBA and Ring Magazine belts from Callum Smith, defended the WBC title against Avni Yildirim, took the WBO belt from Billy Joe Saunders, and finally saw Plant’s IBF belt.
It’s hard to think of a more ruthless or dominant reign for a champion in recent history where Canelo is no longer tied to a promoter or a TV show and not willing to let boxing politics stop him.
Now the 31-year-old will offer honor in cruiserweight against WBC champion Makabu in 2022 – a match in which he will give about two stones away to his opponent.
Makabu was knocked out by Tony Bellew in 2016 at Goodison Park, but has since fought back for the title fight and remains one of the division’s most dangerous fighters by winning nine on the jump.
While there may be disagreements in the skill level, Makabu is a natural six-foot cruiserweight and hits hard – breaking Bellew’s nose in the first round at Everton’s home.
The 34-year-old southpaw could not quite believe his luck with the fight with Canelo being made, and insists it will be a step too far for boxing’s most lucrative fighter.
“When I got this news from my manager and (WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman), I said, ‘Wow! This is a good thing,'” Makubu said.
“Canelo is the best boxer on the planet right now. So I will fight against the best and I accept but there will be no catchweight for this match.
“I think Canelo is making a big mistake that he is going to regret. Canelo wants to prove to people that he can do better than others, and I’m pretty ready to let Canelo try this dream, but I also have my story to write down.
“Yes, it’s boxing. I lost to Tony Bellew, but I came back. Now I tell you 100 percent, I beat Canelo.”
Canelo, meanwhile, insists he will once again prove his class despite the difference in size.
“I’m a very smart fighter,” he said at the 59th WBC Annual Convention.
“I believe in my power and my abilities, so that’s why we want to try [to win the title at cruiserweight]. It is a big challenge and a matter of twenty kilos.
“It’s a fifty / fifty challenge, but I feel very strong. I love challenges and writing history.
“That’s why I’m here, and I like this challenge. We will see if that is the most difficult challenge in my career that day. ”