Canelo Alvarez still has three weight divisions as future options despite losing a light heavyweight title shot against Dmitry Bivol.
Alvarez has so far claimed world title belts at four weight classes during a career that began as a sixteen-year-old kid.
However, his last effort against Bivol had no bearing on what could end up being a seven-weight division title run.
The Mexican superstar already holds belts at super-welterweight, middleweight, super-middleweight[undisputed], and light-heavyweight.
Victory over Sergey Kovalev at 175 negated the need to put Bivol’s belt towards his eventual legacy.
That move up, talked about since 2018, came to fruition at the end of 2019. Canelo soundly demolished the once-formidable Kovalev.
Back then, Canelo talked about moving up another seven pounds from 168 as if it were a park walk.
“Everything is possible. Look, as a team, we’ve always been a team to take on all challenges,” said Canelo.
“That’s what motivates and drives me. But the door is open. It’s free, and it’s possible.”
At the time, Canelo said: “It’s no secret that my ideal weight is 160 pounds, the middleweight division.”
That has since become the super-middleweight limit. The rate Canelo is moving up and even challenging the WBC cruiserweight champion Junior Makabu to a fight signifies more divisions are possible.
“Look, everybody knows I’ve always loved challenges. So if there are challenges and titles out there, I’m open to it like I’ve shown in the past.”
After Eddy Reynoso put his case to the WBC in 2021, 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 by 2023.
The only sticking point is his height. Canelo is a mere 1.75 meters tall at 5′ 7″.
Not many fighters, even legends, could cope with facing men seven or eight inches taller than him. However, Kovalev was 6ft and held big advantages.
One thing Canelo has shown is that he can cope. He just needs to correct tactics on the night. Against Bivol, that’s where he came unstuck.
Canelo – heavyweight
But depending on who is the champion then, 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 in the early 2000s. Canelo may have a slight chance to do similar, provided many of the current 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 more undersized heavyweight makes a comeback, there could be a six-weight world title chance.
If he also wants to dip his toes into bridgerweight, then seven weights come to the table in an unprecedented situation not seen since Manny Pacquiao or Amanda Serrano.
Everything would depend on how cruiserweight turns out before hitting that glamour or the in-betweener 224-pound division.
Discussing his desire to win multi-weight straps, Canelo explained that the need to be a legend stems 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 and growth, 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, 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
Canelo – Heavyweight Legacy
“Moving up two divisions against a world champion is a big challenge for me, worrying about a champion at light heavyweight,” he said back then.
“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 motivates me to keep going, 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 operated with the big boys over 200 pounds in the next three years.
Nobody could ever write it off.