Canelo Alvarez’s IBF Mandatory Defence Dilemma

Canelo Alvarez Faces Mandatory Title Fight Dilemma

Canelo Alvarez, one of boxing’s biggest stars, finds himself at a crossroads with his IBF mandatory title defence. According to Jake Donovan from RingTV, a purse bid is scheduled for June 6 for Alvarez’s IBF mandatory title defence against William Scull. The fight, ordered on May 13, saw negotiations halt after just nine days, prompting Scull’s promoter, AGON Sports & Events, to request an immediate hearing.

The Purse Bid and Its Implications

Per IBF Rule 10.E, the winning bid will be split 65-35 in favour of Alvarez as the defending champion. However, the question remains whether the fight will actually move forward. Alvarez, with a record of 60-2-2 and 39 knockouts, has yet to make a mandatory defence for the WBA or IBF titles since his victories over Callum Smith and Caleb Plant.

Caleb Plant defended his IBF title against Caleb Truax in January 2021 before losing to Alvarez in November 2021. Now, Edgar Berlanga is the WBA mandatory challenger, which complicates the situation for Alvarez. Berlanga’s status was solidified after his sixth-round knockout of Padraig McCrory in February, leading to his naming as the WBA mandatory.

The Rotation System for Unified Titlists

A critical aspect to consider is the rotation system for unified champions. If the rotation favours the IBF, the purse bid hearing for Alvarez-Scull will proceed. Alvarez’s unified reign has been marked by his ability to successfully defend his titles more than any other male undisputed champion in the four-belt era. This achievement is partly due to sanctioning bodies not enforcing their rules as stringently for Alvarez.

William Scull, with a record of 22-0 and 9 knockouts, became the IBF mandatory challenger after defeating Evgeny Shvedenko in July 2022. His most recent fight was an eight-round victory over Sean Hemphill on the undercard of Alvarez’s bout against Jaime Munguia.

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Future Options for Alvarez

Alvarez has several options. He could proceed with the IBF mandatory defence against Scull or face the risk of being stripped of the IBF title if he chooses another opponent. This scenario recalls Alvarez’s past experience with the IBF when he was stripped of the middleweight title in 2019 after failing to defend against Sergiy Derevyanchenko, which led to his split with Golden Boy Promotions.

A ruling in favour of the IBF would present Alvarez with a challenging decision. He could either comply and defend his title against Scull or risk losing the IBF title, which could impact his status as a unified champion. With Edgar Berlanga and other potential opponents in the mix, Alvarez’s next move will be closely watched by the boxing community.

In summary, Canelo Alvarez’s upcoming decision regarding his IBF mandatory defence against William Scull is pivotal. With the purse bid scheduled and the rotation system’s implications, Alvarez must navigate the complex landscape of mandatory defences and title unifications. As Jake Donovan from The Ring outlines, this situation will test Alvarez’s strategy and decision-making in maintaining his reign as a unified champion.

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