Ilia Topuria eyes crossover clash with boxing star Canelo Alvarez following UFC featherweight title victory

Ilia Topuria wants to fight Canelo Alvarez

Days after claiming his first UFC title, newly minted featherweight champion Ilia Topuria is already eyeing a potential showdown with one of the biggest names in professional boxing — Canelo Alvarez.

On Saturday, February 17, ‘El Matador’ shocked the world with a vicious second-round knockout of Alexander Volkanovski in the UFC 298 main event. Since then, Topuria has been living it up, receiving a hero’s welcome in his return to Spain and calling out some of the biggest names in combat sports. Speaking with Joe Rogan immediately following his title-winning performance, Topuria called for a clash with Irish megastar Conor McGregor inside the Octagon.

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On Thursday, the trend continued at a press event where Topuria expressed interest in a boxing match with the multi-time world champion.

Canelo Alvarez is one of the most revered athletes in the history of the sweet science. He has held world championships in four different weight classes from light middleweight to light heavyweight, including unified titles in three of those weight classes and lineal titles in two. He holds an impressive 60-2 record with 39 of his wins via knockout.

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This is not the first time Ilia Topuria has expressed an interest in testing out his boxing skills against Alvarez. During a November appearance on the Overdogs Podcast — three months before his earth-shattering KO against Alexander Volkanovski — ‘El Matador’ shared his desire to step inside the squared circle with the Mexican sensation.

“I would love to fight one day with Canelo,” Topuria said. “I have so, so much respect for him. But I wanna fight with him one day. Once I win the belt and become a UFC world champion, I wanna go for him. Because I really think I have a chance with him. I’ve been following him forever. I believe I have the possibility to beat him.