Undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez hasn’t decided whether to vacate his IBF 168-lb title to bypass his little-known mandatory William Scull.

According to Dan Rafael, Mexican star Canelo (61-2-2, 39 KOs) has not vacated or decided to give up his IBF title. He’s on vacation in Italy right now.

There’s a purse bid scheduled for this Thursday for the Canelo vs. Scull fight, and it’ll be interesting to see what the winning bidder puts down. It would be a tune-up level title defense for Canelo to keep him busy.

Strategic Considerations for Canelo

This clash isn’t expected to do well on PPV, given the 31-year-old Cuban-born Scull (22-0, 9 KOs) is an unknown, even among the hardcore boxing fans.

The IBF made Scull mandatory for Canelo, his best win coming against Sean Hemphill, another fighter few fans have heard of. If Canelo does choose to defend against Scull, the fight will likely happen in September.

One theory for why Canelo may want to hold onto his IBF title by facing Scull is that a fight between him and Terence Crawford would be more significant if he’s still the undisputed 168-lb champion when that match takes place.

Crawford wants an opportunity to fight for the undisputed to try and become a three-time four-belt champion. He can’t do that if Canelo vacates his IBF belt. It’s trivial for casual boxing fans; for the ultra-hardcore fans, they want to see Canelo still holding the undisputed champion when he faces the Nebraska native.

Scull’s Last Four wins:

– Sean Hemphill
– Christian Fabian Rios
– Abel Nicolas Adriel
– Evgeny Shevchenko

“Purse bid for Canelo’s IBF mandatory vs. William Scull is set for Thursday. I messaged with Canelo & he said he hasn’t vacated or decided his plans yet, despite reports to the contrary that didn’t quote him. His comment to me: ‘No decision yet.’ He’s been vacationing in Italy,” said Dan Rafael on X.

Berlanga: A Potential Alternative?

Edgar Berlanga is Canelo’s WBA mandatory, and it’s believed that he’s one of the possiblities for his September fight. In terms of fighting notable opposition, Berlanga is not any better than Scull. Berlanga’s resume is filled with obscure second-tier opposition, and his 22-0 resume is inflated 100%.


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