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WBC approves Canelo Alvarez's jump to take on Ilunga Makabu for cruiserweight title

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Canelo Alvarez is going to get his shot at a fifth division world title in 2022.

The WBC approved Alvarez’s move up to cruiserweight so he can take on current champion Ilunga "Junior" Makabu. Details about the fight are not yet known, though it is expected to take place in May and could happen in Makabu's native Democratic Republic of Congo, per ESPN.

"I know ... what he has done with the heavyweights he spars with, and that is why we asked for the fight," Canelo's trainer and manager Eddy Reynoso said, via ESPN Deportes' Salvador Rodriguez. "We know that [Makabu] is strong, but Canelo can beat him. ... Many may say that it is crazy, but they also said that it was crazy when Canelo was junior middleweight champion and we were looking for middleweights, super middleweight, light heavyweights.

"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."

Alvarez, 31, became the first Latino to hold an undisputed crown in the four-belt era earlier this month when he knocked out Caleb Plant in the 11th round in Las Vegas. That win gave him Plant’s IBF title to go with the WBA, WBC and WBO belts he already held.

The Mexican is now just the sixth undisputed champion in the four-belt era, and has proved himself to be one of, if not the best, fighters in the world. He boasts a 57-1-2 record with 39 knockouts.

Makabu defended the cruiserweight title last December with a TKO win over Olanrewaju Durodola after first winning it via unanimous decision over Michael Cieslak in January 2020. The 34-year-old has won nine straight dating back to 2016.

This bout with Makabu won’t vacate Alvarez’s other titles at 168 pounds, according to ESPN. The WBC is also set to move the cruiserweight limit down from 200 to 190 pounds.

Canelo Alvarez, of Mexico
The bout between Alvarez and Makabu will likely take place in May. A win would make Alvarez a five-weight world champion. (AP/Steve Marcus)
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