Canelo On Why He Is Fighting A Mexican When He Had Previously Said He Wouldn’t Fight Another Mexican

By James Slater - 03/20/2024 - Comments

Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez has not faced a fellow Mexican in quite some time; since May of 2017, in fact. And it’s been by design. You remember when Canelo said he’d never fight another Mexican, that he respected his fellow Mexican warriors, and that he himself represents Mexico? It was taken as an odd statement at the time, and Canelo’s critics gave him quite a bit of stick, suggesting he was looking to avoid the tough competition.

And Canelo HAD fought a fellow Mexican in Julio Cesar Chavez. In any case, Canelo is now facing his first Mexican foe in seven years, this on May 4, when he will fight the unbeaten Jaime Munguia. So, why the change of heart? Canelo had to explain himself at yesterday’s presser at the Beverly Hills Hilton, and he attempted to do so by saying he is fighting Mexican warrior Munguia, because Munguia is “respectful.”

“Yes, I’ve said I don’t want to fight Mexican fighters,” Canelo said. “But someone respectful like Munguia, someone who has earned this fight, it’s something that I’m glad we were able to make happen. This is a great source of pride for me because it’s Mexico all over. I’m proud of Munguia to come all the way he has.”

The Canelo-Munguia fight should prove to be a good one, with the fight full of action. Munguia, 43-0(34) is expected to give his all, win, lose or draw. However, a Canelo critic might be excused for asking the 33 year old multi-weight champion why he is not fighting “Mexican Monster” David Benavidez – you know, the number-one choice of ring rival for Canelo in the minds of many, many fans? Wouldn’t Canelo get a “great sense of pride” from giving us this fight?

Now, Canelo may fight the deserving Benavidez in September (and Canelo has laid down some sort of terms as far as how much of a monster payday he would have to be handed in order for him to fight Benavidez; a sense of cash, not pride the seemingly driving factor with this one!) – and if Canelo does fight Benavidez next, fine. Much respect to him. But if he doesn’t…..?

Benavidez, 28-0(24) is not 100-percent Mexican, his dad being Mexican, his mother being Ecuadorian, with Benavidez being born in Phoenix, Arizona. But for all intents and purposes, Benavidez is a Mexican. He is proud of his Mexican roots, Benavidez fights in the typical Mexican way, and just look at his ring nickname.

But Canelo chose Munguia as his first Mexican dance partner in seven years, not Benavidez. Again, all apologies to Canelo if he fights Benavidez in September. But if he doesn’t……

Benavidez Snr has no doubt why Canelo, 60-2-2(39) isn’t fighting his son next:

“The reason why this fight is not happening is because Canelo doesn’t want it to happen, plain and simple,” Benavidez Snr said to ESPN.

It’s up to Canelo to get past Munguia and then prove the Benavidez’ wrong. But will he do so?