Canelo Alvarez plans to unify 168-pound titles this year
Boxing Junkie 2hrs ago

Canelo Alvarez’s immediate goal is clear: Unify all four super middleweight titles.

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Alvarez, who outpointed Callum Smith to take the Briton’s WBA belt and win the vacant WBC title on Dec. 19, told RingTV.com that he plans to fight at least three times this year to become undisputed 168-pound champion.

He is expected to face mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim in February before targeting his fellow titleholders, Billy Joe Saunders (WBO) and Caleb Plant (IBF).

“I’ve worked hard for this and it’s a great situation to be in,” said Alvarez, who recently became his own promoter. “It’s a pretty simple plan for 2021, fight for all of the belts at 168 and fight three times, maybe four. We’ll see.

“I want to take all of the titles (at 168). My goal is to fight anyone at 168 if they have a title, that’s who I’m going to go after. The goal is February, May and September. That’s our goal for 2021.”

That would seem to leave out middleweight titleholder Gennadiy Golovkin and top 168-pound contender David Benavidez for the time being.

Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) has faced Golovkin twice, fighting to a draw in 2017 and winning a majority decision the following year. Benavidez lost the WBC title on the scale before his fight with Romar Alexis Angulo in August.

Alvarez, who believes he beat Triple-G both times, reiterated that he is in no hurry to face him again but left that possibility open.

“I don’t have to prove anything to anyone,” Alvarez said. “I did my job already by beating him twice and right now I want to stay at 168. … If (Golovkin) wants to move up, we’ll see what happens, if that’s what the fans really want.

“I’m at 168 and I don’t have to do any favors for anyone. I’m at 168 and our goal is to unify here. I feel good right now, I feel strong. I feel like I’m at my peak and I continue working hard.

“If a fight happens a third time (with Golovkin), I feel so good that I could I most likely knock him out and do some serious damage.”

Eddy Reynoso, Alvarez’s manager and trainer, commented on both Golovkin and Benavidez.

“We’re independent and we can talk to anyone we want to right now, and we have some great plans for the future,” he said. “The plan is to fight our mandatory in February and then fight again in May and in September.

“Maybe we’ll look at Saunders down the line and then Plant. Our goal is to be the first unified Mexican super middleweight champion. We want to unify all of the titles and fight the best 168-pounders out there.

“GGG is fighting at 160, but our goal is to fight at 168. Benavidez is a good fighter, but the only thing about him is that he does not have a belt. He has accomplished a lot in his career, but Saul is about winning all of the belts.

“We also don’t know if Benavidez can reach 168 pounds anymore. There is no purpose to fight him right now. [Golovkin] can come up to fight 168, even though it looks like he can make 160 comfortably. If he wants to stay there, that’s fine, that’s his choice.

“But if [Golovkin] or [Jermall] Charlo wants to come up and fight at 168, that’s fine, too. We have no problem fighting anyone. Canelo went through a very stressful time with the former contract and we had to make a decision on what we wanted to do, and we took a risk in getting out of the contracts.

“There was light at the end, and we fought and beat a difficult champion in Callum Smith. I don’t think I ever saw Canelo so happy after he beat Smith. He was back in the ring doing something he loves to do.

“He’s always learning and right now his mindset and training mode is like he’s just starting his career. We’re looking to have a great 2021.”

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