Canelo Alvarez could be moving up to 175 to tackle bigger fighters in that weight class after he finishes unifying the 168-lb division this year, says promoter Eddie Hearn.
Alvarez took care of one piece of the puzzle last Saturday night with his sensational eighth-round stoppage victory over WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders at the AT&T Stadium in Arington, Texas.
WBA/WBC/WBO super middleweight champion Canelo (56-1-2, 38 KOs) is one fight away from making history by becoming the undisputed 168-lb champion.
The only fighter that stands in the way of the 30-year-old superstar Canelo’s dream of unifying is IBF champion Caleb Plant (21-0, 12 KOs), who figures to be every bit as tough as Billy Joe Saunders.
If Canelo can get past the capable 28-year-old Plant in September, his next move could be to go up to 175 to take on IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (16-0, 16 KOs).
By the time Canelo moves up to 175, Beterbiev may have added the WBO and WBA belts to his collection by defeating Joe Smith Jr and Dimitry Bivol.
The short power punches that Beterbiev throws could be a problem for Canelo, as well as his body punching.
It would be a difficult fight for Canelo to beat someone like Beterbiev because he’s an excellent fighter, and that’s something that the Mexican star has never had to deal with.
As a result, Canelo would be able to become the unified champion in two different weight classes.
That’s unheard of in this era. Canelo would be the equivalent of a modern-day Henry Armstrong if he were to unify both the 168 and 175-lb divisions.
“This is a guy, he won a belt off Callum Smith, two belts in that fight, then he wanted to face Billy Joe Saunders, he’s won another belt,” Eddie Hearn said to Sky Sports News about Canelo.
“Now he wants to fight Caleb Plant and win the final belt, so he’s moving extremely quickly.”
There are no guarantees that the Plant fight will happen for Canelo, as the PBC fighter may price himself out.
There are already rumors that Plant wants $15 million for the fight, which is double the $8 million that Saunders received.
If the fight does happen, Canelo will be a big favorite, and we could see a similar match to the Saunders bout.
“I think once he’s done that, then he’s made another piece of history; what do you do then?” said Hearn about Canelo moving up to 175.
“Do you move up to 175[lbs]? Well, of course, he’s already beaten Sergey Kovalev at that weight to win a world title. I don’t see him moving back down to middleweight, but he just loves challenges,” Hearn said of Canelo.
You can’t compare Canelo fighting Beterbiev, Bivol, or Joe Smith Jr to that of him facing Sergey Kovalev. Those guys are still in their primes, whereas Kovalev was 36 and well past it when Canelo fought him in 2019.