Just this week, the WBC approved Canelo Alvarez’s bid to move up to cruiserweight and fight WBC champ Ilunga Junior Makabu (28-2, 25 KOs).
Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs), who is the current undisputed kingpin of the 168-pound weight class is looking to become a five-division world champion and further cement his legacy as one of the best to have ever laced up a pair of gloves.
Canelo has never competed at cruiserweight before. The light heavyweight division was the highest he’s gone up to so far.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what they’re saying about this move to cruiserweight and examine the latest Canelo vs Makabu odds courtesy of the best boxing betting sites.
Canelo has received permission from the WBC to face cruiserweight champ Ilunga Makabu for the 200-pound title.
Following the announcement that the WBC approved Canelo’s move up to the cruiserweight division, BetOnline was one of the first sportsbooks to release opening odds for this potential fight.
Ilunga enters as a decent sized underdog. This is the first time that the Congolese champion has been an underdog since becoming a title contender in the cruiserweight division five years ago.
For Canelo, he will once again be the betting favorite. Not since his 2018 matchup with Gennady Golovkin has Alvarez opened as an underdog.
The Announcement to Move Up
Because Alvarez has never competed at cruiserweight before, his trainer and manager Eddy Reynoso had to petition the WBC to move up.
The sanctioning body agreed in large part due to a previous decision they made where the WBC lowered the cruiserweight limit to 190 pounds, which was the original weight when the division debuted in 1979. The limit was increased in 2004.
In a corresponding move, the WBC introduced the bridgerweight division with a weight limit of 224 pounds. This also helped with the decision to drop the cruiserweight limit down from 200 pounds to 190 pounds.
“I know what he has done with the heavyweights he spars with, and that is why we asked for the fight. I have a lot of confidence in Canelo. He is very strong and has many qualities, and I know that he is going to win that fight. It is one more challenge. Just as we took the challenges at 168 and 175 pounds, now we are going to cruiserweight.”
With WBC’s blessing, the two camps can now begin negotiations. If for some reason a deal can’t be agreed to then a purse bid will be ordered.
There’s already been some talk about possibly having this fight in Makabu’s home country of the Congo, which would be an incredible feat if the two camps can pull it off.
Canelo Alvarez Continues to Make History
Currently, Canelo Alvarez is the consensus pound for pound best fighter in the sport of boxing. He’s the first man to have ever unified the entire super middleweight division and has been a superstar since taking over the sport.
CANELO ALVAREZ WASN'T PLAYING WHEN HE SAID HE WANTED TO MAKE HISTORY! 🙌
He’s won world titles in four different weight classes and aims to be one of the best fighters of all time, not just the best Mexican fighter ever. Canelo commented on his legacy:
“It’s very important. That’s why I’m here [to be the best in the world]. I want to be one of the best fighters in the world. I don’t want to worry about it, at the end of my career the numbers are going to happen.”
Alvarez has won 16 fights in a row since dropping the only bout of his career back in 2013 when he faced a prime Floyd Mayweather Jr. Canelo lost via majority decision at the age of 23.
Alvarez has a 65% knockout rate and has won three straight fights via TKO/KO.
This Will Be Makabu’s Biggest Fight
For Makabu, this is the biggest fight of his career. Winning the vacant WBC cruiserweight title last year was the biggest moment as a pro boxer for Ilunga, but a fight against Canelo Alvarez would easily exceed that.
Makabu recognizes the challenge that awaits, but Ilunga is very excited because he knows that he’s facing the best fighter in the sport of boxing:
“I’m feeling very happy because I fight the best boxer in the planet. Canelo has been beating everyone … but now he’s fighting one tough man. I’ll fight anywhere. Even if they put on the fight in his own house with no public. I’ll fight.”
Makabu has won nine straight fights since suffering the second loss of his career back in 2016. Seven of those nine wins have come inside the distance.
Ilunga has an 83.3% knockout rate with 25 KOs in 28 pro wins.
Should We Bet on This Fight Now?
This is going to be an intriguing matchup especially if they fight in Congo, but you have to go with Canelo Alvarez no matter where the bout takes place at.
Alvarez just demolished the super middleweight division by beating Callum Smith, Billy Joe Saunders and Caleb Plant with relative ease. He crushed both Saunders and Plant with vicious performances. They were both world champions.
When Canelo went up to 175 pounds to fight Sergey Kovalev for the WBO light heavyweight title in November 2019, he wasn’t overmatched by his opponent’s size or strength. Instead, Canelo beat up Kovalev and finished him off with an 11th round KO.
Ilunga is roughly four inches taller with a four inch reach advantage over Alvarez. But, as we’ve seen before, height and reach advantages weren’t an issue for Canelo in the past.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he stops Makabu whenever they fight. We’re talking about an elite champion still in his prime who only chases after legacy defining matchups. And, he’s already stopped a bigger man when he fought Kovalev.
Anything that Canelo does is good for the sport of boxing and sports bettors. I would jump on Alvarez’s opening odds at -400 because they’re only going to go up from this point.
Alvarez vs. Makabu Pick –Canelo Alvarez (-400)
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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