By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Canelo Alvarez apparently has reconsidered his stance on fighting at 168 pounds again.
Two weeks after declaring his fight against Rocky Fielding a singular trip to the super middleweight division, Alvarez seemed more open to a quicker return to 168 pounds when he met with reporters Thursday before a press conference at Madison Square Garden.
“The idea right now is to win this title, God willing, and then go back to 160 pounds,” Alvarez said through a translator. “But, you know, if I can move up and down, why not, if there are good fights? We still don’t know. But the idea right now, God willing, is to win this title and go back down to my real division, which is 160 pounds.”
The 28-year-old Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) will make his debut as a full-fledged super middleweight when he challenges Fielding for the Liverpool native’s WBA world super middleweight title Saturday night at The Garden (DAZN). He hasn’t fought at an official weight higher than 164½ pounds – the contracted catch weight for his 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in May 2017 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Defeating Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs) would place Alvarez in position to challenge another big Brit, Callum Smith, if the Mexican icon decides to remain at 168 pounds or return to the super middleweight division following a fight against an undetermined middleweight May 4 at T-Mobile Arena.
Liverpool’s Smith (25-0, 18 KOs) is the WBA’s “super” 168-pound champion following a seventh-round knockout of George Groves (28-4, 20 KOs) on September 28 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
He also defeated Fielding by first-round technical knockout three years ago in Liverpool. Smith floored Fielding three times before that fight was stopped with 15 seconds to go in the first round.
Even if the 5-feet-9 Alvarez returns to super middleweight at some point, the former junior middleweight champion considers 168 pounds his limit. He wouldn’t attempt to test himself with the 175-pound division.
“I don’t see me being able to do light heavyweight,” Alvarez said. “I don’t see that as a viable option. One, sixty-eight is the max.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.