Eddie Hearn says Canelo Alvarez could potentially face David Benavidez in Cinco de Mayo in 2024 in what would be a huge fight. Hearn says Canelo’s confidence could be sky-high if he defeats John Ryder on May 6t and Dmitry Bivol in September.
Canelo (58-2-2, 39 KOs) would be the favorite against Benavidez, according to Hearn, and he obviously would if he were coming off a victory over WBA light heavyweight champion Bivol in their rematch.
Right now, boxing fans overwhelmingly feel the 26-year-old Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs) is too young, too strong, and throws too many punches for Canelo, with his poor stamina, small size, and low-volume punching to stand a chance against him.
Canelo wants revenge against Bivol
“There’s going to be a free for all to be the next in line to face Canelo Alvarez. Do you think David Benavidez changed the calculus in the mind of Canelo Alvarez because you always said he wants that rematch with Dmitry Bivol,” said Chris Mannix to The Volume.
“But David Benavidez is a marketable guy, and that’s a compelling fight in the U.S. Do you think anything Benavidez did [against Caleb Plant] changed anything for Canelo?”
“Not for September. I can’t tell you how adamant, and this is way before Benavidez-Plant, how adamant Saul and [trainer/manager] Eddy Reynoso are about the Bivol rematch,” said promoter Eddie Hearn.
“It’s not about the marketability; it’s not about the money. He got beat, and it’s eating him up, in all honesty, and he has to get a chance to avenge that defeat,” said Hearn.
Bivol tougher fight for Canelo
“I’ve said a few times the Dmitry Bivol fight at 175 is a tougher fight than David Benavidez is at 168,” said Hearn. “David Benavidez is a great fighter, by the way, but if you look at how those two fights would start, Canelo Alvarez is a massive underdog against Dmitry Bivol at 175.
“So you can’t knock him for taking a tougher fight [against Bivol in September], but at the same time, David Benavidez is a very, very marketable fight for Canelo and a big fight as well.
“All I can tell you from being around those guys and the team, they would have no problems fighting Benavidez. I also heard that Benavidez signed a three-fight deal with PBC to fight Plant, David Morrell, and Charlo. I don’t know how tired up he is in that respect, but I think it would lend itself well with a potential Cinco de Mayo fight in 2024. He’s [Canelo] got John Ryder and Dmitry Bivol [in 2023].
“There’s no way that Saul and Eddy wouldn’t fight David Benavidez. They want these fighters to prove themselves or they want them to bring something to the table, like Bivol does with a championship belt, and I think he’s [Benavidez] gone a long way towards doing that with Caleb Plant.
“He’s not the monster that Canelo Alvarez was because he bashed up Plant and stopped him, which Benavidez couldn’t do after throwing the kitchen sink at him,” said Hearn.
“It’s one thing to look good against Caleb Plant, but Canelo is a different beat altogether,” said Mannix. “You can’t do the things against Canelo that you did against Caleb.
“Oh yeah,” said Hearn. “Canelo is a favorite against David Benavidez. He’s a massive underdog against Dmitry Bivol at 175. So that tells you everything you need to know, but both fights are great.
“I think it’s great for Saul that he has these options moving forward. To be honest with you, May 6th will tell us a lot about Canelo Alvarez. Although John Ryder is a massive underdog, he’ll give Canelo, and I know him very well; he will give it everything.
“If Saul is not on it, and if Saul’s hand is not right, and if Saul doesn’t have the hunger, even if he wins, he may not do it convincingly against John Ryder. If he doesn’t do that, then you have to start to look at a potential regression. I don’t know.
“But if he goes out and looks great against John Ryder, then all of a sudden he goes into the Bivol fight with confidence, but he’s adamant. I could sit Saul and Eddy Reynoso down and say, ‘Listen, I think this is a bad idea. You boxed him once at 175, and he won pretty comfortably.’ His confidence now,” said Hearn.