Trainer Jose Benavidez Sr warns that Dmitry Bivol shouldn’t come down to 168 for his rematch with Canelo Alvarez in September because he’ll be “drained” and could lose.
Benavidez Sr notes that WBA light heavyweight champion Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) has competed his entire nine-year professional career at 175, and it would be a mistake for him to drop weight to challenge Canelo (58-2-2, 39 KOs) for his undisputed super middleweight championship in September to give the Mexican star a handicap for the rematch.
If Canelo needs a handicap, he shouldn’t compete with fighters with more talent like Bivol. Canelo’s promoter Eddie Hearn has been the one that has encouraged Bivol to come down to 168 for the rematch, and some wonder why he’s been so focused on that.
Ideally, Canelo should return to the same weight that he lost to Bivol at 175 instead of trying to gain a weight advantage in the rematch. If Canelo beats Bivol at 168, boxing fans won’t give him credit because they’ll see it as a case of him being drained.
Bivol will be weak at 168
“We’d take it in a heartbeat. How satisfying would it be to beat Canelo, the guy that beat Canelo Alvarez,” said Jose Benavidez Sr to Fighthype when asked if he’d like his son David Benavidez to face Dmitry Bivol.
Canelo’s loss last May wasn’t for lack of size. It was because he lacked the basic fundamental boxing skills needed to beat a well-schooled fighter like Bivol.
The things the junk stuff Canelo had learned from Mayweather weren’t good enough for him to deal with the more well-rounded skills of Bivol.
“I’ll be honest with you, Bivol cannot do 168. All his career, he’s been doing 175,” said Benavidez Sr. “There’s a reason why. I don’t think he should go down to 168. There’s no reason for him to go down to 168. He’s going to feel weak. It’s not going to be him.
“His best weight is 175, and even though he’s going to fight Canelo, he shouldn’t go down to 168 because I think Canelo can beat him. He’s going to be drained. He’s going to be weak. He’s not going to be the same way.
“They can do whatever the hell they want to do. If they want to fight at 168, we’ll fight him. There’s no question about it. We’ll fight him. We’ll fight him right away. My respects to Bivol, but this is a business.
Does Ryder deserve Canelo fight?
“If he comes to 168 and I think that’ll be a very exciting fight,” said Benavidez Sr about Bivol. “Now, going back to Canelo. Who wants to see Canelo fight John Ryder? Canelo said, ‘What did David accomplish? David hasn’t accomplished anything.’ Even when he [Canelo] was fighting [Avni] Yildirim. ‘David hasn’t proven himself.’
“What the hell has Ryder done? What has he achieved? David is a three-time world champion, and yet, what are his qualifications to fight him? People are losing respect for him, Canelo. He’s pound-for-pound, for me, the fact of boxing.
“He should be facing these guys that are challenging. Not these other guys. For him, it’s a fight that he’s going to win. I don’t think Ryder has a chance. There’s no way.
“People know what’s going to happen. Are people going to be interested? Are people going to be excited about this fight? No, so I think it’s going to be good for us,” said Benavidez Sr.
It’s a bad idea for Canelo to fight John Ryder (32-5, 18 KOs) on May 6th because not only will he need to take a paycut, but it’s a match that will further erode his popularity in the boxing world.
Canelo has already done a lot of damage to his career by investing most of the last five years fighting opposition that U.S. fans weren’t interested in seeing him fight.
Alvarez’s whole expedition of becoming the undisputed champion at 168 saw him fight four fighters that American fans had little interest in seeing him compete against.
Now with Canelo looking to fight 34-year-old Ryder on May 6th, he’s returning to fighting the same flawed fighters he’d been fighting from 2018 to 2021.