WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu has embraced the possibility of a showdown in 2022 with Mexican superstar Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.
Earlier this month, Canelo became the undisputed super middleweight world champion when he knocked out Caleb Plant at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
On Tuesday, Canelo's manager and head trainer, Eddy Reynoso, made an unexpected request at the WBC's annual convention. He requested a mandatory crack at Makabu's world title - and the WBC approved the fight.
Canelo, who captured titles at 154, 160, 168 and 175, will now jump up by 32-pounds to the cruiserweight limit of 200.
“I want to say to all Africans that when I face Canelo, I will bring home the victory. This fight will be a great battle and we will show [the fans] an excellent fight," Makabu told You Can't Play Boxing.
“I accepted [this fight] because I am sure that I will fight against the best [fighter] on the planet, and I always like to fight against the best. I will come for Canelo, I am waiting for him to come to me too. Mexican boxing is tough, but we know where we come from, Africa is also a great jungle. I accepted the fight with Canelo and I want to say: 'Good luck Canelo and welcome to the Junior Makabu challenge."
After fighting four times within a span of twelve months, Canelo is planning to take some time off to help his body recover from such a busy schedule.
The Mexican fighter intends to return to the ring in the month of May, as part of Cinco De Mayo weekend. The fight with Makabu, or anyone else, will not take place any earlier than that.