Boxing’s Five-Weight Kings: Leonard, Hearns, Mayweather, De La Hoya, Pacquiao… Canelo Alvarez?

By James Slater - 11/17/2021 - Comments

Fight fans have heard by now: Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez, a fighter who gets as pumped up by making history as he does by winning world titles, by pleasing the fans and by banking a ton of cash, will go for his fifth world title in as many weights next year. The Canelo-Ilunga Makabu fight is not yet official but there seems to be no way the fight will not happen; Canelo wants it and Makabu wants it (and he also wants the massive payday that will come with it and who can blame him).

Don King, who promotes the 28-2(25) Makabu, has yet to rubber-stamp the fight but it seems King will also want to see it, and to get involved (Canelo Vs. Makabu could turn out to be the last big world title fight King promotes, or co-promotes). So can Canelo, at a listed 5’8” (some say the 31 year old is an inch shorter) go up to the 200 pound division and win a fifth crown? If so, Canelo will be in illustrious company, with only Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and Oscar De La Hoya managing to win five (or more) world titles.

Canelo, his critics say, has picked the weakest of the current cruiserweight champions, and he could have given us a better fight had he chosen to fight Gennady Golovkin next (in a third and final fight), had he chosen to fight David Benavidez next, or Artur Beterbiev, or Dmitry Bivol. There really is no pleasing some people. Canelo will be shooting for history (yet more history) in a Makabu challenge and he will be taking a risky fight. Makabu, who may or may not be better than Arsen Goulamirian and Lawrence Okolie (Mairis Breidis is the best cruiserweight ruler right now), can bang, he has a ton of heart and the 34 year old southpaw will be ultra-motivated against Canelo, the biggest star in the sport.

Canelo, 57-1-2(39) should get respect for wanting to go up from 168 pounds, to face a dangerous cruiserweight, possibly in Makabu’s homeland (ESPN reports how there is an offer for the fight to take place in Congo). But is Canelo biting off more than he can chew here? How much weight, how much muscle, can a 5’7” fighter pack on? Canelo’s winning of a light-heavyweight belt was impressive, but cruiserweight?

What we can all look forward to if the Canelo-Makabu fight does go down is a whole lot of fun. Makabu likes to rumble, Canelo is looking special in each and every fight and there seems to be no way this one would/will be dull. There are questions being asked now that Canelo has made his intentions clear: Will he have just one fight at cruiserweight? Will Canelo find it hard dropping the additional weight when he does want to fight back down at either 168 or 175? Can Canelo go one division higher and win a belt at bridgerweight!?

And can Canelo carry his power up with him to 200 pounds? Does Canelo stop Makabu? Does Canelo even win?

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