Sunday, March 26, 2023  |


Canelo will be allowed to keep 154-pound title for Chavez bout


Canelo Alvarez will be allowed to keep his WBO 154-pound title while he jumps up a couple weight classes to face Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on May 6 at a catch-weight of 164.5 pounds in a nontitle fight, WBO President Francisco Valcarcel told on Friday.

However, Alvarez must make a decision within 10 days of the fight with Chavez if he wants to keep the title or vacate it, Valcarel said. “He wants to go into the ring with the belt and we’re allowing him to do it,” Valcarcel told RING in a phone interview. “Once he fights Chavez then he has 10 days to decide what he wants to do with the title. He will decide what he wants to do after the fight.”

Canelo (48-1-1, 34 knockouts) won the junior middleweight title against Liam Smith on Sept. 17 in Arlington, Texas with an exciting ninth-round knockout. Golden Boy officials have discussed facing middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in the fall and have said they are using the bout with Chavez as a litmus test to see how he feels fighting at a higher weight. Canelo has never fought above 155 pounds, despite winning a middleweight title against Miguel Cotto in November of 2015. Now, with the news that Canelo will keep the 154-pound belt until May, there appears at least a sliver of a chance he could make the surprising move of holding onto it after the bout with Chavez (50-2-1, 32 KOs).