WBC Orders Smith v Alvarez Will Be For Vacant WBC 168-Pound World Belt
The upcoming December 19th showdown between WBA ‘Super’ World Super-Middleweight champion Callum Smith (27-0, 19 KOs) and WBA “Regular” World Super Middleweight champ Canelo Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) will now also be for the vacant WBC 168-pound World Title.
A joint statement was released on December 11 by the World Boxing Council, Matchroom Promotions, and Canelo Promotions. Both men are associated with Matchroom. The company CEO, Eddie Hearn, feels it is an appropriate move on the part of the WBC.
“I am delighted that the winner of this fight will be crowned the WBC World champion at 168lbs. Canelo Alvarez is the pound-for-pound best fighter on the planet, and Callum Smith is the number one Super-Middleweight on the planet; so it is fitting for the winner to proudly wear the green and gold belt on December 19.”
Eddie Hearn, Matchroom CEO
It has been ordered that the winner must fight #2 ranked WBC 168-pound contender Avni Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs). The title became vacant when former WBC world Super Middleweight champion David Benavidez (23-0, 20 KOs) failed to make weight for a scheduled defense against Roamer Alexis Angulo in August 2020.
WBC President Mauricio Sulaimán shares Hearn’s excitement and views this as a great way to close out the year.
“The WBC is extremely proud to have such a tremendous fight for the vacant WBC Super Middleweight title. Canelo and Callum will give the world a superb closing of a difficult year and will make fans from around the world celebrate with much entertainment and enjoyment. I would like to personally praise Avni Yildirim for his exemplary collaboration to make this a reality.”
Mauricio Sulaimán, WBC President
SHADY MOTIVES BEHIND THIS DECISION?
There is a legit argument that this decision was in part to appease Alvarez and Matchroom. Be clear that Alvarez is boxing’s biggest cash cow. He is also in the good graces of the WBC (the creation of the controversial WBC Franchise Title is an example of that), who wants to keep it that way.
But if you are a fight fan, how mad can you truly be? Suddenly this becomes a fight for unification status. Yes, you may be critical of the circumstances involved to make it a reality, but it is still two of the best at 168 battling for two world titles. That is ultimately a good thing and what folks want at the end of the day.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.