The WBC has Granted Canelo Alvarez a Voluntary Defense
By Hector Franco | Senior Writer and Editor
Published: October 03, 2018
At the World Boxing Council’s (WBC) annual convention in Kiev, Ukraine it was announced that current Lineal/WBC/WBA middleweight champion, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) would be granted a voluntary title defense of the WBC middleweight crown in his next bout.
Alvarez is coming off of the most significant victory of his career winning a controversial majority decision over Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) this past September. The rematch between Alvarez and Golovkin sold over 1.1 million in PPV buys and is the fourth largest grossing boxing event in Nevada history falling behind their first encounter.
There have been rumors of the Mexican star making a return to the ring this upcoming December. Alvarez’s promoter Golden Boy Promotions has apparently saved the date of December 15th for a possible return. Golden Boy also reserved two venues, Madison Square Garden in New York and the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Should Alvarez make a return to the squared circle this upcoming December, the opponent he is most likely to face is former IBF middleweight champion, David Lemieux. The Canadian could be the biggest puncher in the middleweight division and is also promoted by Golden Boy Promotions. In the rematch with Golovkin, Alvarez suffered a cut over his left eye leaving many to wonder if a December ring return is more hyperbole than reality.
The WBC stated that if Alvarez were successful in his voluntary title defense, he would have to face the winner of a bout between Golovkin and interim WBC middleweight titleholder Jermall Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs). Charlo, a former IBF super welterweight (154) champion made his move to the middleweight division in 2017. Before moving up to middleweight, Charlo made three title defenses of his IBF 154-pound title winning two by stoppage.
The Houston, Texas native won the interim WBC middleweight title by knocking out Hugo Centeno Jr. in the second round this past April. Charlo has looked impressive as of late, but in facing Golovkin or Alvarez, he will be making a jump up in class and competition. As of now the most significant opponent Charlo has faced in his career is former 154-pound champion, Austin Trout whom he defeated via unanimous decision in May of 2016.
Now that HBO (Home Box Office) has announced that they will no longer be telecasting boxing on their network beginning in 2019, Alvarez has plenty of options and suitors who will want to broadcast the Mexican star’s next fight. The dividing line that existed between HBO and Showtime will no longer be present making it less complicated to make matches with fighters like Charlo who have been primarily shown on Showtime or Premier Boxing Champions broadcasts.
Despite Alvarez being awarded a victory over Golovkin in their rematch, a vast amount of observers believe the Kazakhstani puncher should have been the winner in both fights. Being the sports most prominent star and cash cow allows Alvarez some leeway in deciding his next matchup. The Mexican star could choose to bypass the WBC’s mandates and head straight into a third fight with Golovkin. A rubber match with Golovkin would still be the most financially viable option for Alvarez. The public demand and outcry for a clear winner without controversy could lead to another fight of the year candidate.
Golovkin is now 36-years of age and could end up being the underdog if he steps in the ring with Alvarez again. The former middleweight champion in many circles would be considered an underdog against Charlo who is only 28-years old and entering his prime both physically and mentally.
Any variety of these bouts would be entertaining rather it be Alvarez facing Charlo, Golovkin or the winner of the upcoming Daniel Jacobs-Sergiy Derevyanchenko for the vacant IBF middleweight title.
The landscape of the boxing world is changing with HBO officially out of the picture and the rise of boxing being showcased on streaming services such as ESPN+ and DAZN. Alvarez will be a significant part of this change, and his next move could determine the sport of boxing’s direction for the upcoming few years.
Regardless of what Alvarez ends up doing for his next fight, the middleweight division is as exciting as it has ever been in quite some time.
(Featured Photo: Reed Saxon/AP Photo)