Makabu vows to KO Canelo as Mexican admits he will give away 20lbs in title fight

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Ilunga Makabu has told Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez moving up to cruiserweight is a big mistake and insists he will ‘100 per cent’ knock the pound-for-pound king out.

Canelo, the undisputed super-middleweight world champion, has taken the bold decision to move up another division in an attempt to become a five-weight champion.

Makabu will have a four-inch height advantage against Canelo and will be naturally much heavier

WBCBoxing (Twitter)

Makabu will have a four-inch height advantage against Canelo and will be naturally much heavier

In a spectacular 12-month sweep, the Mexican collected the WBA and Ring Magazine belts from Callum Smith, defended the WBC title against Avni Yildirim, took the WBO strap from Billy Joe Saunders and then finally Plant’s IBF strap.

It is difficult to think of a more ruthless or dominant reign of a champion in recent history, with Canelo no longer tied down to a promoter or a broadcaster and not willing to let boxing politics to impede him.

Now the the 31-year-old will bid for glory at cruiserweight against WBC champion Makabu in 2022 – a fight in which he will give away around two stone to his opponent.

Makabu was knocked out by Tony Bellew in 2016 at Goodison Park, but has since clawed his way back to title contention and remains one of the division’s most dangerous fighters by winning nine on the bounce.

While there may be a discrepancy in skill level, Makabu is a natural cruiserweight at six foot and punches hard – breaking Bellew’s nose in the first round at Everton’s home.

The 34-year-old southpaw could not quite believe his luck that the fight with Canelo was made and insists it will be a step too far for boxing’s most lucrative fighter.

“When I got this news from my manager and (WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman), I said, ‘Wow! This is something good,” said Makubu.

“Canelo is the best boxer on the planet right now. So, I want to fight the best, and I accept, but there will be no catchweight for this fight.

“I think Canelo is making a big mistake, which he is going to regret. Canelo wants to prove to people that he can do better than others and I am quite prepared to let Canelo try for this dream, but I‘ve got my also story to write down.

“Yes, this is boxing. I lost to Tony Bellew, but I came back. Now I’m telling you 100 percent, I will knock out Canelo.”

The 31-year-old is a four-weight world champion, but has never fought above 175lbs

Getty Images – Getty

The 31-year-old is a four-weight world champion, but has never fought above 175lbs

Canelo, meanwhile, insists he will once again prove his class despite the difference in size.

“I’m a very smart fighter,” he said at the 59th WBC annual convention.

“I believe in my power and my skills, so this is why we’re going to try [to win the title at cruiserweight]. It’s a great challenge and a question of twenty kilos.

“It’s a fifty/fifty challenge, but I feel very strong. I love challenges and making history.

“That’s why I’m here, and I like this challenge. We will see if it is the most difficult challenge of my career on that day.”





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