Canelo Alvarez wants to become boxing’s fully unified light heavyweight champion if he defeats Dmitry Bivol on May 7 in Las Vegas.
The Mexican legend recognizes that achieving undisputed status in another weight class would strengthen his legacy even more than he did by winning world titles in four divisions.
“I like the idea to be undisputed in two weight classes,” Alvarez said during a recent conference call with a small group of reporters. “For me, it’s a really good thing for my legacy.”
The 31-year-old Alvarez already has won the WBO light heavyweight title. He didn’t defend the championship he won from Sergey Kovalev, however, because he moved down to the super middleweight limit for his subsequent bout – a 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat of Callum Smith, then the unbeaten WBA 168-pound champion, in December 2020.
Alvarez added to the WBA and then-vacant WBC belts he won in the Smith match when he beat Billy Joe Saunders for the WBO crown last May 8 and Caleb Plant for the IBF championship November 6. The Guadalajara native still owns all four super middleweight titles.
If the heavily favored Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) beats Bivol, he will again drop down to the super middleweight limit for his following fight, a third showdown with rival Gennadiy Golovkin. Should Alvarez conquer Russia’s Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs) at T-Mobile Arena and then overcome Golovkin (42-1-1, 36 KOs) again September 17 at a site to be determined, Alvarez would pursue full unification in the light heavyweight division.
Challenging the winner of the Artur Beterbiev-Joe Smith Jr. fight would afford Alvarez the opportunity to capture the three light heavyweight titles he’d need to become boxing’s first undisputed 175-pound champion of the four-belt era. Russia’s Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs), who owns the IBF and WBC belts, and Long Island’s Smith (28-3, 22 KOs), the WBO champion, are expected to meet in a main event ESPN will televise June 18 from Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York.
If Alvarez moves forward with his plan to battle Golovkin again, the Beterbiev-Smith winner would likely have to make a mandated defense of one of those three titles sometime later this year. This time, though, Alvarez would hold on to his light heavyweight title to give himself a chance to become undisputed light heavyweight champ either late this year or within the first half of 2023.
“Like I say, I like the idea, but I have something to do this year first, right?,” Alvarez replied when asked about becoming the undisputed light heavyweight champ. “But I love the idea and I would love to do it.”