Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez suffered a shock defeat to Dmitry Bivol earlier this month after moving up to light-heavyweight; the Mexican must decide whether to rematch Bivol or take on another opponent as he considers defending his super-middleweight undisputed champion status
Thursday 19 May 2022 17:12, UK
The WBC says it will support Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez if he opts to return to super-middleweight to defend his status as the division's undisputed champion.
Canelo suffered a shock defeat to Dmitry Bivol in Las Vegas earlier this month in an attempt to win a world title at light-heavyweight for the second time in his career.
After losing for the first time in nine years and just the second time in his career, Canelo must decide whether he will return to super-middleweight, where he became undisputed champion by beating Caleb Plant in November 2021.
Bivol has suggested he might step down a division for a second fight with Canelo, while a trilogy clash with Gennadiy Golovkin could take place at 168lbs, despite the Mexican star's surprise setback.
On Thursday the WBO also confirmed Canelo will retain his title despite the loss to Bivol, stating that it is in the "best interests of the sport" given the "multiple opportunities to continue defending his Super Middleweight Supremacy against formidable world championship level opposition".
Asked whether the organisation would support a bid from Canelo to defend all four of his super-middleweight titles, WBC president Mauricio Sulaimán told Sky Sports News: "100 per cent. He is the undisputed super-middleweight champion.
"He asked for permission to fight at light-heavyweight, which was granted, and now we will just wait to hear what is going to be his decision, his plans."
David Benavidez and David Lemieux will meet in California on Saturday night for the WBC's interim super-middleweight title, a fight which will put the winner in prime position to challenge at a later date for the belt Canelo currently holds.
Sulaimán added: "The WBC ordered the interim championship, which is going to be contested this Saturday between Benevidez and Lemieux.
"So we have the activity in the division covered, and most of all, continuing our open policy to try to have as many undisputed champions as possible, without interfering and having them lose a championship for reasons that are not fair."