Canelo vs. Benavidez: Smoke or Mirrors? Rahman Throws Cold Water on Dream Matchup

By Tim Compton - 01/28/2024 - Comments

Boxing legend Hasim Rahman doubts that Canelo Alvarez will fight David Benavidez. The Mexican superstar, Canelo (60-2-2, 39 KOs) isn’t motivated enough at this late stage of his career to fight the “Young bull,” 27-year-old Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs).

As Rahman points out, undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo already is heading towards the Hall of Fame, so he’s going to gain much by fighting the hungry former two-time WBC 168-lb champion Benavidez because it won’t move the needle to make him a bigger star than he already is.

What Rahman fails to mention is Benavidez’s lack of solid wins on his 11-year professional resume. His best wins are against former Canelo knockout victim Caleb Plant and 35-year-old undersized past his best Demetrius Andrade.

Moreover, Benavidez is arguably a light heavyweight who is killing himself to make 168, trying to stay long enough to get the Canelo fight and the money that comes with it.

If Benavidez beats Canelo, his popularity will go up, and he’s become a bonafide PPV attraction. Right now, he’s not. Benavidez’s recent fight against Andrade brought in a rumored 70K PPV buys last November, and those are terrible numbers.

Canelo’s Legacy and Benavidez’s Ascent

“I seriously doubt that happens. I just think Canelo wants the smoke with the young bull,” said former heavyweight world champion Hasim Rahman to Fighthype when asked about a fight between David Benavidez and Canelo Alvarez.

“I wouldn’t say he’s old, but his age is relative, right? When you’re in your 30s, and you’ve got somebody in their 20s, and the miles on Canelo. He’s got a Hall of Fame career already.”

There’s an imbalance in what Canelo and Benavidez get from a fight between them. Benavidez has everything to gain from that clash, whereas Canelo gets very little from it other than money.

“Benavidez is still up and coming. Even though he’s a two-time WBC [super middleweight] champ, he still has some things to do. He needs fighters like Canelo to take that next step,” said Rahman.

Motivational Imbalance

“Canelo is already a Hall of Famer. So win, lose, or draw, he’s going to be Canelo. It ain’t going to do too much either way for Canelo.

“That’s why I say I don’t know if Canelo is in a hurry to fight because it ain’t going to really move his needle too far either way,” said Rahman.

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