Team Canelo Wins Petitions To Retain WBO Super Middleweight Belt

Canelo To Retain WBO Title At 168

WBO Championship Committee grants Canelo Alvarez the WBO belt
WBO title belt (top corner), Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (R) | AFP (corner), Melina Pizano/Matchroom (R)

Canelo Alvarez Will Retain WBO 168 Pound Strap Following his Loss to Bivol

Heading into his last prizefight, as is typically the case, undisputed super middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KO’s) was the notable favorite to prevail. Despite the perception going in however, when Alvarez jumped up in weight to face WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol, it proved a bit too much. As a result, Canelo suffered the second loss of his professional career. Without question, this was a sour outcome that the Mexican could have gone without.

At least the redhead could still hang his hat on was the fact he was still undisputed at super middleweight. Yet, this was not something that was written in stone. In fact, Alvarez’s WBO strap should have been declared vacant upon his loss to Bivol. So, why did this not happen? Apparently, Greg Smith Esq contacted the WBO on Canelo’s behalf. He represented the undisputed champion’s interest in petitioning for the fighter to retain his status as the WBO champion.


In the end, the WBO granted Team Canelo’s request to retain his status as the undisputed champion. The justification for the ruling was based on the notion that it would be better for the division and the sport at large if the redhead retained his belt and position. This is a somewhat dubious call. What would have been more accurate is its better for the WBO to continue having the current face of the sport wearing their hardware.

It would be a tremendous stretch, and venturing well into arrogance, to say the overall sport would suffer if Canelo was no longer the WBO super middleweight or undisputed champion. For example, in his last match against Bivol, he did not compete at 168-pounds. He did not even represent the WBO organization and the world did not implode. Furthermore, if Canelo was forced to reclaim his belt, that in and of itself could generate its own public intrigue as well as potentially sensational bouts. In the end though, everyone wants to align themselves with a winner (even when they lose!) and that’s what happened here. So it should be no surprise that the WBO was vigilant in looking out for their own interests.

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By: Bakari Simpson

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About Bakari S.3020 Articles
Bakari is a Senior Writer for Visit to view more of his literary work.