Action Images/Andrew Couldridge
CANELO ALVAREZ has confirmed he will operate at middleweight after his all-Mexican clash with Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr in Las Vegas on May 6.
Alvarez, who has never fought above 155lbs, will meet Chavez at a 164.5lb catchweight before finally campaigning at 160lbs, where a certain Gennady Golovkin currently reigns.
While he would not be drawn on his options at middleweight, Canelo – who previously held the WBC middleweight title but only ever contested it at 155lbs – is seemingly moving closer to a blockbuster clash with the Kazakh.
“Look, I’m not a current world champion at middleweight. I have been in the past, but I’m not now,” he said.
“And as far as the weight, after this fight, I’m not looking past this fight. I’m focused 100 percent on this fight, but I’m now staying at middleweight. I’ll stay at 160 pounds.”
That also means he is likely to have vacated the WBO super-welterweight he won from Liam Smith last year.
When asked if his upcoming clash with Chavez Jnr is being used as preparation for a mooted September showdown with WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight champion Golovkin, the flame-haired Mexican insisted otherwise.
He said: “No, not at all. This is just another fight and it’s a very important fight for me, and I’m not focusing on any other fighter but the fight that I have in front of me.”
Huge at 154lbs, Canelo is feeling the benefits of preparing himself for a weight better suited to his stocky frame.
Though he will be giving up a size advantage against Chavez Jnr, who has operated as high as 171 1/2lbs before, Canelo’s sparring has helped him acclimatise to bigger foes.
“I’ve been feeling very good. I’ve been training with sparring partners who are much bigger, who are light heavyweights that are much bigger than me,” he said.
“I’m feeling very comfortable, and very strong. I’m not having to dehydrate as much. I’m still having to go down in weight because I’m above the weight that the fight is scheduled at, but I don’t have to dehydrate totally. We’ll see come fight night how I feel, how the body adapts. I’m a fighter that knows how to adapt to the situations, and my body adapts well. I’m just anxious and looking forward to giving the public a beautiful fight, a great fight, come May 6.”