April 18, 2021

Canelo: Boxing Should Have Only One Champion Per Weight Class

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Canelo Alvarez is looking to become the first undisputed Mexican super middleweight champion in boxing history. 

Boxing’s biggest superstar currently owns the WBA, WBC and Ring Magazine titles at 168 pounds. He plans on fighting the division’s other titleholders in WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders in May, and IBF champion Caleb Plant by September. 

If Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) wipes out the competition by the fall — he also fights WBC mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) on Saturday in Miami — he’ll own every single major title in the division.

Alvarez, however, believes there are too many champions in the sport in the first place. 

“The sanctioning body organizations do it for a reason, and [boxers] are world champions at the end of the day. Everybody wants to win a title,” Alvarez told BoxingScene.com in an interview.

“Everybody wants to have [a belt]. Everybody complains, but all fighters want to have a world title. There’s no reason to create politics out of it. I really don’t have an opinion regarding that. I believe that the interim titles, and all those types of things, they do have to discard them, for it to be a little bit more exclusive [to be a champion]. There should be one single champion per weight class. But that’s the way it is right now. We just have to cope with what the times offer.”

Alvarez’s opinion of the sport’s muddied world title picture has been a sentiment echoed by many chief boxing principles in recent months, including his former foe Floyd Mayweather Jr., his current promoter Eddie Hearn and fellow stablemate Ryan Garcia.

Alvarez is a four-division champion who has won titles at 154, 160, 168 and 175.

He said he ultimately wants to take pride in the quality of opponents he fights, regardless of the adornments on their waists.

“I am going to focus on doing my thing and winning fights and reaching my short-term goals,” said Alvarez. “When I do retire, the numbers and the championships that I’ve won, the fights, they are going to place in whatever position they place me.”

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com