Canelo Alvarez Vacates WBO Light Heavyweight Title

Canelo Alvarez's latest title reign ended roughly six weeks after winning the belt.

In an expected move, Alvarez has vacated the WBO light heavyweight title, ending a brief run at 175 pounds that resulted in him knocking out Sergey Kovalev in early November to win the WBO belt.

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As part of an agreement between Alvarez and the WBO, Alvarez does retain his "Super Champion" rights that was bestowed upon him at the WBO Convention earlier this month. As "Super Champion," Alvarez has the ability to request the WBO to become the mandatory challenger for the title in the next weight class up (cruiserweight) or down (super middleweight). While the WBO cruiserweight title sits vacant with plans of having a title bout take place in early 2020 between its two highest-ranked available contenders, Billy Joe Saunders sits as the organization's super middleweight champion.

Saunders does not have a fight lined up for him right now, but the WBO does expect him to make a mandatory title defense soon. Alvarez requesting to be the mandatory challenger for the super middleweight title would likely result in an Alvarez vs. Saunders title fight next. Alvarez has a multi-year deal to fight exclusively on the DAZN streaming service and Saunders is promoted by Eddie Hearn, the promoter for Matchroom Boxing, which also has a lucrative multi-year broadcast dea with DAZN.

Below is the full statement from Golden Boy Promotions on Alvarez vacating the belt:


LOS ANGELES (Dec. 17, 2019): "In order to comply with the World Boxing Organization's ("WBO") prohibition against its champions holding titles from other sanctioning organizations in multiple weight classes, four-division world champion Canelo Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) and the WBO have reached an agreement for Canelo to vacate the WBO's Light Heavyweight World Title. Canelo won the WBO title by defeating Sergey Kovalev via 11th-round knockout on Nov. 2, 2019. Canelo will maintain his status and privileges as a WBO Super Champion, including any privilege to be designated mandatory challenger to the WBO titleholder in any division.

Canelo said, “I know that my accomplishments in the ring have brought pride to my fans and my country. 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.”

Alvarez still currently holds the WBA "Super" middleweight title, but there is no word on when he will move back down to middleweight. The Mexican star is also still listed on the WBA's website as the organization's "Regular" super middleweight titleholder. When asked about what weight class he would fight next, Alvarez told Fightful before the fight against Kovalev that he isn't sure where his future lies.

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