Canelo vs. Usyk – 2022 wishlist for Tony Bellew

Tony Bellew says one of the exciting fights on his wishlist for 2022 is Canelo Alvarez vs. Oleksandr Usyk at cruiserweight. Bellew thinks the superstar Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) would like his chances of defeating the unbeaten former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs).

Bellew seems sure that Usyk would take the fight with Canelo, and he probably would if the money made it worthwhile to drain down to return to the cruiserweight division.

For the fight to happen, Usyk would need to come back down to cruiserweight, where Canelo would be attempting to hand him his first career defeat.

It’s unlikely that Usyk could be pressured into agreeing to a rehydration clause, and that might be an obstacle to putting the fight together.

Unfortunately for Canelo and the fans, Usyk won’t accommodate the Mexican star anytime soon with a fight at cruiserweight. He’ll be facing Anthony Joshua in a rematch that is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2022 in the UK.

Alexander Usyk, Canelo Alvarez, Tony Bellew boxing image / photo

Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) will be attempting to avenge his loss to Usyk and win back his IBF, WBA & WBO heavyweight titles.

Canelo still has an open schedule, but it’s being talked about him going up to cruiserweight to challenge WBC champion Ilunga Makabu next May. If Canelo wins that fight, he’ll be a five-division world champion, which would mean a lot to him and his fans.

“It’s a fight that’s unlikely, but I know that Oleksandr Usyk would be tempted to go back to cruiserweight if it meant he could face Canelo Alvarez,” said Tony Bellew to DAZN.

“The two best boxers in the sport would put on a proper clinic, but it’s likely to be a step too far for Canelo. He’d fancy the job, but against Usyk, you’re going in with a very special fighter who might just be too big and too good.”

It would be a step too far for Canelo if Usyk isn’t drained from having to melt down to the 200-lb cruiserweight limit. If Canelo can pressure Usyk to come in at a catchweight of 190 lbs, that would be even better for him.

Of course, it defeats the purpose if Usyk is weakened from a catchweight, but if the casual boxing fans aren’t aware of that, Canelo will get full credit for the win.

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn says he would prefer that Canelo fight at 175 in 2022 rather than cruiserweight because he wants him to unify the division.

“Canelo Alvarez. I know there’s talk about Junior Makabu and David Benavidez, but I’d like to provide the route to the undisputed championship at 175lbs,” said promoter Eddie Hearn to DAZN on him preferring that Canelo fight at light heavyweight in 2022.

“Dmitriy Bivol, Joe Smith, Artur Beterbiev, there’s the run all done in a year. History-making and Canelo break records all over again.”

It was thought that Canelo wanted to go up to 175, but now it doesn’t seem like he’s all that eager anymore. Maybe Beterbiev’s recent stoppage win over Marcus Browne put him off the idea.