THE legacy of Canelo Alvarez is at risk if he does not fight David Benavidez, according to Jose Benavidez Sr.
Their team is attempting to lure the number one super-middleweight into an all-Mexican showdown sooner rather than later.
David’s promoter Sampson Lewkowicz says he has already made contact with Canelo’s manager and trainer Eddy Reynoso. Some reports suggest the champion has been offered a guaranteed $50m purse to take on the younger man. In March Benavidez 27-0 (23) overcame a spirited effort from Caleb Plant to claim his biggest win to date.
Canelo’s plans had been focused on Dmitry Bivol long before his win against John Ryder one month ago.
The Russian light-heavyweight dished out the second loss of Canelo’s career in May 2022 when the 32-year-old moved back to 175lbs. Three years earlier Sergey Kovalev was knocked out in the penultimate round of his bid to send Canelo back down to super-middleweight with a loss.
In an 18-year, 63-fight career Canelo has gained success at four weight classes beating the likes of Shane Mosley, Erislandy Lara, Miguel Cotto, Gennadiy Golovkin and Caleb Plant. Mosley and Cotto, however, were past their prime best.
“The only thing he needs for his legacy [is] David Benavidez. To shut everybody up,” the fighter’s father and trainer told Mill City Boxing.
“We need that fight in order to make history and to show the people we’re the best at 168. He needs it, we need it. I believe he’s the best and when you’re at that level you have to fight anybody. When you’re a champion you fight anybody that’s what makes a champion.”
Past interviews have seen Canelo dismiss fighting another Mexican. The clamour for a Benavidez fight is steadily beginning to grow and he may now be a realistic option if Bivol does indeed pursue his own legacy defining bout against Artur Beterbiev.
“Everybody wants to see the [Canelo-Benavidez] fight,” said Benavidez Sr.
“When everybody says ‘payday’ we don’t give a f*** about ‘payday’. We care about history. Even if we lose to Canelo that’s a win for us. If we beat Canelo [then David is a] superstar. It doesn’t matter which way it goes. David will go to another level. Give us the minimum. Give Canelo whatever he wants. We just want the opportunity. We’ve got to prove ourselves first. The pay is not a problem. We’ll take the minimum.
“I think we’re at the right time, the right moment. David’s just too strong, too big, too young. Canelo has too many miles.”
Benavidez Sr said he knows nothing of any negotiations or multi-million dollar offers; he leaves that to Lewkowicz and his team. The trainer did say will not wait around for Canelo and are targeting David’s return to the ring for September or October.
“Don’t get me wrong if there’s a fight that comes with Canelo, we’ll definitely take it right away,” he said.
“If he doesn’t want to fight there’s other fighters like [Jaime] Munguia, David Morrell even Bivol, Beterbiev. All these fighters are willing to fight anybody. Canelo wants to do his own thing. All these other fighters I just mentioned they just wanna fight, they don’t care, they just want to give the fans the fights they wanna see.”