HEAVYWEIGHT – Canelo Alvarez has claimed world title belts at four weight classes so far during a career that began as a sixteen-year-old kid.
The Mexican superstar already holds belts at super-welterweight, middleweight, super-middleweight (regular), and light-heavyweight.
A move up to 175 pounds, talked about since 2018, came to fruition at the end of 2019. Canelo soundly demolished the once-formidable Sergey Kovalev.
Back then, Canelo talked about moving up another seven pounds as if it was a walk in the park.
“Everything is possible. Look, as a team, we’ve always been a team to take on all challenges. That’s what motivates and drives me,” said Canelo. “But the door is open. It’s free, and it’s possible.
“It’s no secret that my ideal weight is 160 pounds, the middleweight division.
“Look, everybody knows I’ve always loved challenges, so if there are challenges and title out there, and are titles out there, I’m open to it like I’ve shown in the past.”
Canelo did the business in some style. Since then, a further push to cruiserweight looks certain.
It’s the next logical step for Canelo once he fully grows into the 175-pound limit – possibly in two years or so.
The only sticking point is his height. Canelo is a mere 1.75 meters tall. 5ft seven and a half in English money.
Not many fighters, even legends, could cope with facing men seven or eight inches taller than him. Kovalev was 6ft when they fought.
But depending on who is the champion at that time, Canelo may go for it at cruiserweight and then bid to emulate Roy Jones Jr.
RJJ defeated a much-bigger John Ruiz to make history back in the early 2000s. Canelo may have a slight chance to do similar, provided the big boys are long gone by then.
Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, and Deontay Wilder would be a step too far for Canelo. But if the smaller heavyweight makes a comeback, there could be a six-weight world title chance.
Everything would depend on how cruiserweight turns out before hitting that glamour division.
Discussing his desire to win multi-weight straps, Canelo explained the need to be a legend has roots stemmed from his childhood.
Knowing the champion as we do, his ambitions won’t stop at 175 pounds. He wants to be an all-time great. That’s abundant with Canelo.
“When I first started as a young kid boxing, I always dreamed of becoming a world champion. I had a great example in the gym. He was a champion.
“Through that process, through that growth, as you learn with experience and see things. Then I began challenging myself more and saying, Why one championship? I can go on and win more.
“I’m still growing and seeing this process, and that’s what motivates me to continue writing history. To continue reaching those goals.
“That’s always part of the game. That’s still a sacrifice, is to make weight. Working hard for the pounds to come off, and that’s what we’re doing.
“Look, today we still talk about Leonard and Duran and Hagler and Leonard. They’re great fights. People are going to always talk about them.”
Rumors Canelo has knocked out a heavyweight before were confirmed before he went on to smash Kovalev and take his title.
— Golden Boy (@GoldenBoyBoxing) October 30, 2019
“Moving up two divisions against a world champion is a big challenge for me, worrying about a champion at light heavyweight,” he said back at that time.
“But I also think that it’s the most important fight of my career. That’s why we are doing this to keep making history. That’s what I like. I like those challenges.
“I always imagined the magnitude of what I could accomplish so fast. And then I discovered more things. I learned more things, and I realized that there are even more things ahead of me that I can keep making history.
“That’s what motivates me to keep going, keep making history.”
Asked whether he can go up any further himself, potentially to cruiserweight or even the top division, Canelo added: “You know, right now to move yet to another division would be a lot.
“We can’t exaggerate. It would be too much moving to another division. But I’m looking for challengers. I keep looking to make history.
“That’s how I would characterize myself as the kind of fighter that tries to make history. But for us, there are no limits. We want to make history. We want to keep advancing.
“So there are no limits for us. We’re in a good moment in my career, so we have to take advantage of that.”
What a ride it would be if Canelo were operating with the bigger men in the next two or three years.
Pure Pay Per View, if only for the size differential involved.