Exclusive: WBO wait on Canelo report before 154 title decision

Stacey Verbeek

A recent statement by Golden Boy Promotions regarding the future of Canelo Alvarez has thrown the new WBO super-welterweight title holder’s reign in doubt almost as soon as it had begun.

The 26 year-old Mexican superstar defeated Liam Smith on Saturday night in front of a record-breaking crowd in Texas before GBP announced a hand injury will keep Canelo out of action for the rest of the year.

As Canelo had already outlined his intention to move up to middleweight following a one-off defence at 154 in December, Golden Boy then confirmed the ailment in question wouldn’t affect their initial plan to ascend the weights.

That means Canelo has all but ruled out making any defense of his new WBO belt and leaves the World Boxing Organisation with a decision to make, which they’ve outlined won’t be rushed into just yet.

“We once again congratulate Canelo Álvarez on his impressive victory against a brave, quality opponent in Liam Smith to claim the WBO Jr. Middleweight title. As with all cases of injury, WBO Rules and Regulations call for a thorough medical report detailing the injury suffered, treatment to be received, and prognosis for recovery,” Jose Izquierdo, the WBO’s General Secretary exclusively told World Boxing News.

“As such, I am not in a position to comment further on the situation until such report is received and evaluated by the WBO World Championship Committee,” he added.

In all likeliness, Canelo will be heading up to at least a catchweight for his next outing, potentially in January or February, provided the two-weight world champion wants a warm-up before a massive fight on his usual May date.

Should the Jalisco fighter intend on staying out of action until the late spring, May would then become a possible warm-up for a huge battle against Gennady Golokvin as promised in September.

Either way, the WBO’s super-welterweight strap doesn’t seem to be part of those plans.