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Canelo Alvarez vacates WBO light heavyweight title

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The Mexican superstar won’t be moving to 175 full time, it appears, at least not for now.

WBO light heavyweight title bout in Las Vegas: Canelo Alvarez vs Sergey Kovalev Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images

We still don’t know exactly what Canelo Alvarez is going to be doing next, other than we can guess his next fight will probably be on May 2, but we can be pretty sure, at least, that the 29-year-old Mexican superstar won’t be returning to the light heavyweight division for his upcoming fight.

Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KO) vacated the WBO’s 175-pound title today, about six weeks after knocking out Sergey Kovalev to win the belt in Las Vegas. Alvarez had moved up from 160 pounds for that fight, having previously dabbled at super middleweight on a couple of occasions, including winning a secondary belt in that weight class in Dec. 2018.

“I know that my accomplishments in the ring have brought pride to my fans and my country,” Alvarez said. “I have long enjoyed my relationship with the WBO and appreciate all they do to preserve and enhance the sport of boxing. This agreement allows the WBO to have its light heavyweight title contested regularly and allows me to pursue bouts against the best opponents, regardless of weight class.”

“Canelo has already accomplished much in boxing, and is still a young man,” said WBO President Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel. “When his career is done, he will be regarded as one of the greatest boxers to ever step into the ring, and one of Mexico’s best fighters ever. We look forward to his future fights against rivals at the top of the middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight, and other divisions.”

”We completely support the decision made by Canelo Alvarez and the WBO,” said Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions. “Canelo made history by stopping Sergey Kovalev in impressive fashion to become a four-division world champion. Not only did he show that he is a real threat at 175 pounds, but he also demonstrated that he is fully capable of moving across several divisions to look for the most exciting fights for the fans.”

Alvarez could potentially move all the way back to 160 and defend the WBA title that he still holds at that weight, or he could fight at 168, where he remains recognized as the WBA’s “world champion,” a notch below the WBA’s “super world” champion Callum Smith.

But guessing what Canelo is going to do next is rarely a useful move anymore. He tends to throw curveballs most don’t see coming, so we’ll just have to wait to hear what he’s got lined up next.