The undisputed super-middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has an annual tradition of fighting the weekend of Cinco de Mayo, and due to a major omission from his list of potential opponents, people are starting to wonder does Canelo Alvarez fear the possibility of losing to David Benavidez?
Alvarez is reportedly back in the gym preparing to make his return to the squared circle on Saturday, May 4th. No formal announcement has been made as of yet, but rumors are circulating in regards to the WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo being selected as Alvarez’s Cinco de Mayo opponent.
Canelo Alvarez is marching to his own beat, as he recently provided boxing fans with back-to-back bouts where he’s faced opposition that had no business fighting for the undisputed super-middleweight crown. While Canelo entertains his fan base with cherry-picked opponents, the rest of the boxing world is waiting for Alvarez to step up and fight his mandatory.
Back in May 2022, former two-time WBC super-middleweight world champion David Benavidez stopped David Lemieux in the third round and won the vacant WBC super-middleweight interim title. By winning the vacant interim title, Benavidez put himself in a position to be the mandatory for Canelo Alvarez.
Instead of fighting his mandatory challenger, Alvarez decided to face 40-year-old Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin in the fall of 2022. The trilogy fight turned into a snooze fest as Canelo Alvarez would go on to win the non-entertaining bout by way of unanimous decision.
After the trilogy fight, Alvarez became extremely upset at his post-fight press conference when members of the media asked about David Benavidez. Alvarez claimed that the former two-time WBC super-middleweight champion David Benavidez didn’t accomplish enough to deserve a shot at the undisputed crown.
A few months after making that ridiculous statement, Alvarez would go on to make a ridiculous announcement in regards to fighting John Ryder, a man who never held a world title, and at that particular time, he already had five losses on his resume.
After he defeated John Ryder, the boxing public was anticipating a clash between Canelo Alvarez and David Benavidez. Once again, Alvarez avoided his mandatory, and once again, he went on to face a man who didn’t deserve the opportunity to fight for the undisputed crown.
Jermell Charlo is a talented 154-pound champion, but with that being said, he didn’t earn the opportunity to fight for the 168-pound undisputed world title. Nevertheless, the show went on, and Canelo Alvarez defeated Jermell Charlo via unanimous decision.
While Alvarez spent the year 2023 fighting carefully selected opponents, David Benavidez continued to prove that he is the top contender in the super-middleweight division. Benavidez defeated former IBF super-middleweight champion Caleb Plant in March 2023, and eight months later, he stopped former two-weight world champion Demetrius Andrade.
Canelo Alvarez avoided David Benavidez in the year 2022 and 2023. Now it seems like he plans on ducking Benavidez in 2024 as his alleged list of potential opponents includes Jermall Charlo, the 147-pound undisputed world champion Terence Crawford, and super-middleweight contender Jaime Munguia.
At one point in time, it was speculation, but now it’s becoming painfully obvious that Canelo Alvarez is ducking David Benavidez. Fight fans want to see a Canelo-Benavidez clash in 2024, but Benavidez’s father/trainer, Jose Benavidez, doesn’t think it’s going to happen.
“Canelo does not want anything to do with David. Every time, he comes up with all these excuses all the time, but look who he wants to fight. He wants to fight Munguia, he wants to fight Charlo, you know. I mean, he says that David has fought nobody or this and that, but at the end of the day, those are just excuses,” Jose Benavidez said during an interview with Fight Hub TV.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya wants to see his fighter Jaime Munguia get a shot at Canelo. However, De La Hoya admits that a fight between Canelo and Benavidez is long overdue.
“He’s been the mandatory for Canelo for almost two years I believe. So it’s all politics and things have to change because I come from an era and so does Hopkins, where you fight everybody. You fight the best,” De La Hoya said.
While Canelo’s fanbase continues to justify his ducking antics, boxing fans, boxing legends, and boxing pundits are growing tired of Canelo’s shenanigans. Sports television personality Stephen A. Smith acknowledged the fact that the situation is pissing him off.
“My issue, Dan, is you fought a dude two weight classes lower than you in a smaller Charlo, Jermell Charlo. Now you’re talking about Jermall Charlo, who would also have to move up. I’m just saying, David Benavidez is at 168, the reigning, this dude is 28-0 with 24 knockouts. How has Canelo gotten away with avoiding him this damn long?” Smith asked during a conversation with boxing writer Dan Rafael.
Canelo Alvarez is, without a doubt, the reigning king of the 168-pound division. However, he is displaying fear when it comes to fighting David Benavidez because deep down inside, Canelo is aware of the fact that David Benavidez is a major threat in regards to knocking him off of his throne.