Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is set to return to the ring after an eight-month hiatus and make a second defence of his undisputed super-middleweight title, and it has now been revealed that there will also be a fifth belt on the line.
Alvarez had a below-par 2022, with a first loss in eight-and-a-half years being followed by an underwhelming performance against an ageing Gennadiy Golovkin.
After undergoing surgery on an injured hand, the Mexican 168lb king is promising fans he’ll be back to his best.
This will be the 32-year-old’s first fight in his home country in over a decade, with his last contest in Mexico taking place in 2011, where he knocked out Kermit Cintron in the fifth round of his third defence of the WBC super-welterweight title.
Upon his return to his hometown of Guadalajara, the WBC have announced that a new ‘Puebla-Jalisco’ belt, which pays homage to the cultural background and heritage of the two states.
🔰 WBC Puebla-Jalisco Belt 🔰
The World Boxing Council presents the “Puebla-Jalisco” belt which will be in the line for Canelo VS Ryder. This commemorative belt for May 5 merged traditional icons of each state’s cultural background. pic.twitter.com/UzYPCZeFTa
— World Boxing Council (@WBCBoxing) April 26, 2023
Marca reports that the ‘Puebla’ half of the belt is a tribute to the “strength and resistance of the Mexican culture with the China Poblana, as well as the power and beauty of the Popocatepetl volcano”.
Meanwhile, ‘Jalisco’ is represented with an inclusion of tequila and agave on the strap, and an emphasis on ‘Charro’ culture, which symbolises both strength and beauty.
Whilst the title appears to be tailor-made for the hot-favourite and proud Mexican, Canelo, John Ryder would also walk away with the belt if he was to pull off the upset.
However, Ryder will undoubtedly be more interested in coming home with the undisputed super-middleweight title, after a controversial defeat to Callum Smith in the other world title challenge of his career.
The event will be streamed live on DAZN on Saturday night, with fans eager to see if Canelo can bounce back from a dismal 2022.