Becoming the first Super middleweight World Unified Champion in boxing history was Canelo and his team's obsession. After achieving that goal, both Alvarez and Eddy Reynoso, his lifelong coach, could be certain that their spot in the Hall of Fame was secured. However, it seems they are hungry for much more and the very possible rival for Canelo's next fight states this clearly.
In December 2021, one month after Alvarez defeated Caleb Plant to become Unified Super middleweight World Champion, Eddy Reynoso shocked the world at the WBC Annual Convention: he asked for the permission of this boxing organization to challenge Ilunga Junior Makabu, the current holder of the World Cruiserweight Champion. Mauricio Sulaiman, WBC's president, granted it.
In fact, Canelo confessed that he did not know a thing about Reynoso's new route into boxing immortality for him. The challenge will be tough for the Mexican Pound for Pound king: there are 32 lbs of difference between Super middleweight and Cruiserweight division, and also there is a hungry Champion, llunga Makabu, who surely does not want to waste his lifetime opportunity.
Who is Junior Makabu, the possible rival for Canelo's next fight?
Being born in the Democratic Republic of Congo on November 8 1987, Junior Ilunga Makabu has held 30 fights as a professional boxer. His current record is 28-2-0 and his main presentation is the power of his fists: he has finished 25 of his 28 victories by the way of knock out, which means an 83 % of effectivity in this quality. Makabu is the WBC World Cruiserweight Champion since 2020, when he defeated polish Michal Cieslak.
The Congolese is 6,0 tall, 2 feet more than Canelo Alvarez; not really a problem for the Mexican who has already defeated Callum Smith and Rocky Fielding with his 6,3 and 6,1 height. Talking about his weight, Makabu has developed all his career in the Cruiserweight division. So he will be in his natural habitat.
Ilunga Junior is a southpaw with a classic combative boxing style: he sacrifices defense to reach the knockout. This was the reason for his two defeats: in 2008, exactly on his professional debut, and in 2016, against British 2 division World Champion Tony Belew. Both losses were quick TKO's, on the first and third rounds, against the African fighter.
Being undefeated for almost six years, Makabu has fought just once since Covid 19 pandemic began: TKO victory against Olanrewaju Durodola in 7 rounds. Before facing Canelo Alvarez, he must overcome Thabiso Mchunu, in a WBC mandatory bout that will represent the first time the Congolese will fight in the United States.