Sean Smith, trainer of cruiserweight contender Thabiso “The Rock” Mchunu, has revealed that his boxer has no intention of stepping away from a mandatory fight with WBC world champion Ilunga Makabu.
Earlier this year, Mchunu became the mandatory challenger when he picked up a decision win over Evgeny Tishchenko in Russia.
Makabu stopped Mchunu in eleven rounds when they faced each other in Durban in 2015.
Last week, Mchunu and his handlers were shocked when World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman announced that his organization had approved a request by Saul "Canelo" Alvarez to get an immediate title shot at Makabu.
Canelo is currently the undisputed world champion at super middleweight.
Smith indicates that his boxer is owed an immediate shot at Makabu - and he ruled out the possibility of taking step-aside money.
He explained that Makabu's handlers have dragged their feet on finalizing the rematch.
“We are mandatory challengers for Ilunga,” Smith said Sowetan Live. “There is an obligation for Makabu to defend against Thabiso. [Makabu's promoter] Don King has not come up with the date and venue. Now the WBC Convention came and Canelo’s manager and trainer made a request to fight Junior and it has been announced that the request was approved quickly.
“We won’t take step-aside money; we want to fight Ilunga and win the WBC title. Canelo wants to fight Makabu in May – between that Makabu must settle the score with Thabiso. We are in the gym but obviously Thabiso needs to know exactly what is happening."
Canelo's decision has shocked many in the sport, as the Mexican superstar would have to jump from 168 to a division where the maximum weight is 200-pounds.
The once-beaten boxer has captured world titles at junior middleweight, middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight.