Canelo Alvarez has vacated his IBF super middleweight title instead of facing his IBF-ordered mandatory challenger, William Scull, in his next fight. The move leaves Canelo with three titles at 168, WBA, WBC & WBO.

Why the Decision Makes Sense

It’s a move that makes sense for the superstar Canelo (60-2-2, 39 KOs), as a title defense against the little-known Scull (22-0, 9 KOs) would have been a PPV dud, bringing in very few buys. There would have been zero fan interest in a fight between Canelo and Scull had it taken place on PPV.

Lance Pugmire of Boxingscene broke the news of Canelo, 33, vacating his IBF super middleweight strap. It’s unclear who Canelo will defend against next when he returns to the ring in September.

Fans have criticized the International Boxing Federation for choosing Scull as Canelo’s mandatory opponent because this fighter has never faced any notable opposition during his career.

The eight-year professional Scull, born in Cuba, recently beat Sean Hemphill, and even he’s not well known. That’s arguably the best name on Scull’s resume.

With Canelo vacating his IBF title, the sanctioning body will likely choose between these two contenders in their rankings to face Scull for the vacant title:

2. Vladimir Shishkin
3. Christian Mbilli

Potential Matchups for Canelo

Canelo has a lot of options for his next fight in September. His WBA mandatory challenger, Edgar Berlanga, has been campaigning to be the next opponent for the Mexican superstar.

Eddie Hearn promotes Berlanga (22-0, 17 KOs) at Matchroom, and he would be happy if Canelo chose him for his next fight.

A fight between Canelo and Berlanga would be shown on DAZN PPV, and it would likely do well on the East Coast in the New York area.

Berlanga is not a fighter that boxing fans nationwide in the U.S want to see Canelo face, as he’s arguably a step down from his last opponent, Jaime Munguia, who he defeated by a 12-round unanimous decision earlier this month on May 4th.

Still, Berlanga is a much better opponent for Canelo to fight than William Scull. It’s unclear what the IBF was thinking when they chose him. They should have at least set up a title eliminator between Scull and one of these contenders to earn a shot against Canelo:

Christian Mbilli
Diego Pacheco
Caleb Plant

These three stand out in the super middleweight division as the best contenders. Berlanga is still unproven, and Scull is even more so.

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