Canelo Alvarez scored a landslide unanimous decision victory over Callum Smith, and in doing so, secured newfound, top-dog status in the super middleweight division when he claimed the WBC, WBA and Ring Magazine titles.
After the fight, Alvarez made it very clear that his goals are to solidify his seat at 168.
In fact, Alvarez is so removed from 160, he didn't even entertain the thought of a super fight against Errol Spence Jr. at the weight class. Spence was ringside scouting Alvarez’s win against Smith and promised an “all-out war” if they ever fought.
“I saw [Spence]. I'm very grateful that he was here, but the reality is that we have other goals right now with the 168-pound titles,” Alvarez said after the fight.
Alvarez’s future intentions as a super middleweight means that his status as the WBC’s 160-pound Franchise Champion needs to be reevaluated, WBC president Mauricio Sulaimán told BoxingScene.com and a group of reporters.
“The Franchise designation is an absolutely new concept. We’re all playing with different scenarios. Being a Franchise Champion allows you to move up and down weight categories while representing the WBC,” said Sulaimán.
“At this point, with him winning the super middleweight championship, we’re going to meet at the beginning of the year to discuss the Franchise situation. I know most of you do not appreciate, like, or are confused with the Franchise situation … We will see. This might lead to maybe not enforcing the Franchise on Canelo. I’m going to talk to him and see. What we want to do is what’s best for the sport. The top priority is for the Franchise champion to make great fights happen. I feel very comfortable and happy about that.”
The WBC named Alvarez the middleweight Franchise Champion last June shortly after he bested Daniel Jacobs in a 160-pound clash. Teofimo Lopez is the only other champion to have the honor, winning it from Vasilily Lomachenko when he beat him in October.
After being honored as the Franchise Champion, Alvarez has since competed at light heavyweight, scoring a KO over Sergey Kovalev, and at 168 against Smith.
Alvarez now has intentions for a February fight in Mexico against 168-pound WBC mandatory Avni Yildirim.
Alvarez has expressed that he can still make and take fights at 160, but the scale ultimately speaks louder than his words, and Sulaimán will have a discussion about it for 2021.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s a combat sports color commentator for TV programming that airs on FOX Sports. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com