Who Should Canelo Alvarez Fight Next?

By James Slater - 05/06/2024 - Comments

Whether you feel he is still the face of boxing or not (or if you ever felt he was), it cannot be denied how Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez showed on Saturday night that he has got plenty left in the tank. Canelo dropped and decisioned a game challenger in an unbeaten Jaime Munguia, with Canelo showing off his poise, his power, his brilliant counter-punching skills, and his sheer ring generalship.

After over 60 pro fights, some people felt the wheels might be ready to come off, that Canelo, a pro since the tender age of just 15, might start to show wear and tear against the younger, fresher and, as it turned out, bigger Munguia. Not at all. Canelo finished the fight looking fresh as well as almost unmarked. Canelo left the ring smiling; save for a brief altercation with a certain David Benaviez (more about him later).

Canelo is still a major force, he is a proven great and he resides some place in everyone’s pound-for-pound Top 10. So, who next for the flame-haired one? We heard Canelo state post-fight on Saturday how he has “fought everyone,” and that he will “do what I want.” This is true, in terms of both statements: Canelo having shared a right with, Floyd Mayweather, Gennady Golovkin X3, Erislandy Lara, James Kirkland, Miguel Cotto, Dmitry Bivol, Sergey Kovalev, Danny Jacobs, Callum Smith, Caleb Plant, and Munguia.

Canelo has earned the right to pick and choose the fight he wants. But at the same time, we want to see Canelo fight great fights, against great opponents. So, if YOU could play matchmaker, who would you pick for Canelo next?

It probably would come down to two or three names:

David Benavidez.

The man, and the name, that will not go away. Canelo has had to hear Benavidez call him out again and again, and the 33 year old has had to listen to so many millions of fans, and a whole bunch of boxing experts, call for the fight also. Benavidez is moving up to light heavyweight in June, but he was there at ringside on Saturday, and he was right there getting into Canelo’s face after the fight. Will it prove to be a real thorn in the side of Canelo’s legacy if he doesn’t fight Benavidez?

Terence Crawford.

Like Benavidez, “Bud” is moving up a weight division in his next fight, with the general consensus for the top guy, pound-for-pound looking to add a 154 pound belt (or belts) to his name. But plenty of people want to see Canelo test his skills against those belonging to Crawford. This one would be utterly fascinating. Whether it would be at a catch-weight or whether the fight would see Crawford really dare to be great by moving up to 168, fans would get pulled in/sucked in/devoured by this fight if it happened.

Edgar Berlanga.

Berlanga is fun, both in the ring and out of if, and he also wants a piece of Canelo (and the massive payday that would of course go right along with the fight). Berlanga might not be the proven article in the opinion of some, but he is unbeaten, he is young, and he is hungry. Sounds like Jaime Munguia, right? Yes, this fight would see Canelo enter the ring as a heft favourite, but if it’s not Benavidez or Crawford next for Canelo, Berlanga would be my pick for him to fight.

Unless Canelo has other ideas? Let’s see how things play out. But Canelo, judging by his showing against Munguia, has a good three or four big fights left in him yet. Or maybe more.