Ring Magazine still has Saul “Canelo” Alvarez as their Ring middleweight champion despite the fact that he vacated his WBC 160lb title to avoid facing Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in 2016. Canelo vacated his WBC title, and then moved down to 154, and beat WBO junior middleweight champion Liam Smith on September 17. Golovkin is BELOW Canelo in the Ring’s ratings at middleweight, which makes zero sense to me.
It’s peculiar that Canelo is still the Ring middleweight champion when he’s not even fighting in the 160lb division, and has NEVER fought at the full weight of 160 pounds for any of his fights in the middleweight division. Canelo beat Miguel Cotto at a catch-weight of 155lbs in 2015 to win the WBC middleweight title. Canelo defended his WBC middleweight title once in beating welterweight Amir Khan by a 6th round knockout in May 2016.
Shortly after that, Canelo vacated his WBC title after being ordered to fight Golovkin. When Canelo gave up his WBC title, it would have made sense for Ring to take away his Ring middleweight title and given it to Golovkin.
Golovkin holds 3 of the 4 middleweight titles in the division. It doesn’t make sense for him not to be champion when he’s the one that has the majority of the titles in the division, and he’s the guy that has been fighting at the full weight of 160lbs. Canelo was briefly a catch-weight champion with the WBC, but he gave the title up when ordered to fight Golovkin by the World Boxing Council.
Ring organization needs to change their rules for who holds their titles. It looks strange when a fighter vacates a title, as Canelo did, and no longer fights in the division that he’s holding a Ring title. Canelo looks out of place as the Ring Magazine champion at 160 right now. He should be merely one of the top 10 ranked contenders to the Ring title rather than the champion in my view.
Boxing fans need champions that are at least fighting in the division that they hold their titles. Canelo’s next fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is taking place at super middleweight at a catch-weight of 164.5lbs. Why isn’t Ring Magazine stripping Canelo of his middleweight title?