Canelo Alvarez denies he’s been ducking the former two-time WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez (25-0, 22 KOs) while focusing on his goal of becoming the undisputed champion at 168 from 2018 to 2021.
Canelo asks what Benavidez, 24, brings to him, which is a strange question, given that he’s viewed by the hardcore boxing fans as the #1 fighter in the division. Alvarez isn’t seen as the #1 guy, despite recently beating four weak champions from Europe and one from Tennessee.
Benavidez is still viewed as the #1 fighter at 168, whereas Canelo is considered to be a guy with titles taken from below-par belt holders.
Why doesn’t Canelo want to fight Benavidez?
Is Canelo afraid of Benavidez? That’s something that has boggled the fans’ minds for the last three years, as they’ve seen Canelo repeatedly face inferior opposition and pick-up belts with his shallow goal of becoming the undisputed champion. The obvious answer for why Canelo doesn’t want to fight Benavidez is FEAR.
Why else would Canelo choose to fight the likes of Avni Yildirim, Billy Joe Saunders, Rocky Fielding, Callum Smith, and Caleb Plant rather than Benavidez? It’s a classic example of fear taking hold of Canelo, causing him to take the easy path rather than risking his neck against the young lion Benavidez.
I mean, it would have been a worthy goal for Canelo if the champions at super middleweight were stacked with these killers:
- David Benavidez
- David Morrell Jr
- Jermall Charlo
- Demetrius Andrade
The champions Canelo beat to earn the undisputed 168-lb honor:
- Callum Smith – captured his WBA title against an INJURED George Groves
- Rocky Fielding – won his WBA belt against little known German fighter Tyron Zeuge
- Caleb Plant – picked up his IBF strap from the flawed Jose Uzcategui
- Billy Joe Saunders – won his WBO 168-lb strap beating Shefat Isufi.
I hate to say it, but it sure looks like Canelo is ducking Benavidez, trying to avoid taking another devastating loss that would wreck his revenue stream.
If Canelo were to face Benavidez at this stage in his career, the chances are high that he would be trounced and sent back to the contender ranks, having to move away from the 168-lb division in search of titles that he can snatch in other divisions. Hence, Canelo’s interest in going up to cruiserweight to pick off the weakest link in Ilunga Makabu.
Canelo says his recent wins over the four 168-lb champions came against the VERY best fighters in the super middleweight division.
It’s debatable whether Canelo’s wins over the four belt-holders came against the best or just a mediocre group of well-promoted fighters that were positioned carefully by their management.
According to Alvarez, he already beat the number one guy at 168 with his 12 round unanimous decision victory over Callum Smith in December 2020. Smith looked terribly poor in his fight before facing Canelo in John Ryder, and most would agree that he was given a hometown decision in that bout.
“What I know is I beat the No.1 fighter at 168. It was Callum Smith,” Canelo Alvarez said to World Boxing News. “Next, Billy Joe Saunders, second. Next, the third one [Caleb Plant]. So, I beat all the best at 168. They were all undefeated. I beat all the best at 168, and now there are people saying you need to fight this one — like always.
“This always happens. But I beat the best champion at 168. Then they say, ‘he’s scared of him’ or ‘he’s scared of that guy.’ I am not scared about anything.
“I don’t avoid anybody. But what does that guy (Benavidez) bring to me? Nothing. Nothing. Mention a champion they (Benavidez and Charlo) fight before. How many? I really don’t care. Haters are always going to be haters.”
You could give more weight to Canelo’s assertion that he beat the best fighters to win his belts if the guys he’d beaten had earned their world titles against quality fighters, but that wasn’t the case.