Could Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez really fight for the world heavyweight title? Canelo, his eyes set on true and absolute greatness, says he can beat current WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight king Oleksandr Usyk if the two have a fight at a catch-weight of 201 pounds. Canelo told Eddie Hearn that, if he can make the fight at 201 pounds, he can defeat Usyk. Usyk has of course got the business of a return fight with Anthony Joshua to take care of before he can fight anyone else, while Canelo has to beat Dmitry Bivol on Saturday before he can think about facing anyone else.
But there seems to be a real chance a Usyk Vs. Canelo fight could actually happen. Usyk, or at least his manager Egis Klimas, has in principle agreed to a 201 pound fight with Canelo:
“Be our guest, Usyk will make cruiserweight for this one, but let Canelo concentrate on Bivol for now,” Klimas wrote on social media in response to Canelo’s calling out of Usyk.
Canelo has grown through the divisions and he is now a solid 175 pounder. There is talk of a stop at cruiserweight along the way, but the big one Canelo wants is a dare to be great shot at the heavyweight title. Canelo is not calling out any giant heavyweights, he wants the 6’3” Usyk (reach 78 inches) and him alone. Hearn says Canelo can beat Usyk (but then he would say that, wouldn’t he – working so closely with Canelo as he is?) and though plenty of other people say such a fight would be a step too far for the Mexican warrior, no-one is flat-out calling the idea of the fight stupid, or offensive.
The great ones take on mighty challenges and this is why they are recognised and celebrated as all-time great fighters. Has Canelo got the stuff to go down as an all-time great? If Canelo were to accomplish the following: beat Bivol, beat Artur Beterbiev in a light-heavyweight unification, beat a cruiserweight champion and then shock the world by defeating Usyk for three world heavyweight belts, would he have to be looked at as a Top-10 all-time great? Maybe.
Canelo, all 5’7.5” (reach 70 inches) of him, seems serious about fighting Usyk, while it seems Usyk is at the very least interested in shedding around 20 pounds (Usyk tipping-in at 221 for the Joshua win) and meeting Canelo. This one could prove to be the biggest, most fascinating world title fight of the year – in whichever year it happens, this if it does actually happen. How many hard-core fight fans would have an opinion on this fight going in and how many of us would pay to watch the fight unfold? It could be massive. If it happens.