David Benavidez: I’ll be ready to fight Canelo Alvarez when the opportunity comes
By Sean Jones: David Benavidez plans on working hard for the next year or two to earn a fight against Canelo Alvarez and beat him to take the position he’s in as a top fighter.
Unortunately for Benavidez lost his best bargaining chip to get a fight against Canelo when his WBc super middleweight title was strippedfrom him after he failed to make weight for his last fight.
Benavidez (23-0, 20 KOs) realizes he’s not in the lead position to get a fight against Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs), but he’s going to work to put pressure on him to get in that spot.
The 24-year-old Benavidez feels that fighters like Canelo are making a mistake by fighting him now while he’s still really young because in three years, he’ll be even better, and they’ll have missed their opportunity.
Above all, Benavidez wants to take Canelo’s scalp to go down in the history books as one of the greats, but he just needs the chance. Like many, Benavidez isn’t impressed with what he’s seen from Canelo’s recent opponents Sergey Kovalev and Callum Smith, who fought scared and treated him with way too much respect.
Benavidez says former WBA super middleweight champion Callum (27-1, 19 KOs) looked weak and appeared to gas out after three rounds against Alvarez last Saturday night. He’s not surprised that happened, though, seeing that Smith was given the fight with Canelo on four weeks’ notice.
Benavidez argues that Smith really only had three weeks of training, as the final week was him traveling to San Antonio, Texas for the fight, and using that time to cut weight to get to the 168-lb limit.
He sees that as a sign of Canelo showing no respect for Smith as a champion, and he doesn’t understand how his promoter Eddie Hearn allowed that to happen to his own fighter.
Benavidez to work hard to get Canelo fight
“I’m going to fight in March. I don’t know who I’m going to fight yet, but we’re just staying ready,’ said David Benavidez to ESNEWS. “I’m looking to have a great victory.
“I understand I’m not going to be the front runner to get that fight, but I’m still here and will still be fighting to get that fight,” Benavidez said about Canelo.
“Whoever I have to go through, it doesn’t matter. If I have to get my title back, that’s what I’m going to do. Canelo is a great fighter, but I feel like all these dudes that have been fighting him lately, Kovalev, Callum Smith, they’ve been fighting scared.
“I think they have too much respect for him. And I don’t know what it is. I want to put myself up there in a spot in the history books of boxing, and the way I’ll do that is by beating Canelo.
“I’m going to work extremely hard in the next three years as hard as possible to make this fight happen. When I do get this fight, everybody that tells me I’m crazy and that Canelo is too much for me, I’m going to prove everybody wrong,” said Benavidez.
If Canelo wanted to fight Benavidez, he would have done it a long time ago, but he hasn’t. When Benavidez was the WBC 168-lb champion, Canelo could have fought him but he didn’t. Canelo chose to fight WBA ‘regular’ champion Rocky Fielding in 2018 for a belt.
It was only after Benavidez ost his WBC title last August after coming in two pounds overweight for his defense against Roamer Alexis Angulo that Canelo showed interest in fighting for the belt.
Benavidez’s #1 ranking with the World Boxing Council puts him in a good position to try and force Canelo to fight him, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to get the fight. Even if the WBC orders Canelo to face Benavidez, which could take a long, long time, he’ll likely vacate the belt to avoid him.
What Canelo can’t do is wait Benavidez out until he gets older and has lost a step before choosing to fight him, and that’s something that many boxing fans believed the Mexican star did with the much Gennadiy Golovkin.
Canelo could have fough Golovkin when he was in his early 30s, but he didn’t do it. It’s impossible for Canelo to wait Benavidez out because he’s the older fighter, and it works against him to wait.
The only way Canelo is better off by waiting is perhaps because Benavidez may grow out of the 168-lb division, and be fired to move up to 175.
Unless Canelo sees another situation where there’s a weak paper champion at light heavyweight, he probably will never return to the division again. He picked off the old over-the-hill Sergey Kovalev last year, but he can’t do that with the existing champions Artur Beterbiev and Dimitry Bivol.
David Benavidez isn’t afraid of Canelo
“I feel like that’s the biggest fight right now because I’m not scared of Canelo,” said Benavidez. “And I feel like I’m in the moment of my career where I want greatness.
“I want what Canelo has. I want everything that Canelo has, and the only way to get what Canelo has is to go through Canelo. Honestly, they’re making a big mistake by not getting me right now.
“And The older I get, the more experience I get, the closer I get to my prime, the more power and more speed I gain.
“I just turned 24-years-old. And I have a long time in this game. I feel like people are making a mistake if they’re not getting me now that I’m less experienced than I will be in two years,” said Benavidez.
I’m going to be Nostradamus for a second by predicting that when Benavidez is eventually made the mandatory for Canelo’s WBC title, he’ll vacate it without fighting him. In other words, I don’t see Canelo ever fighting Benavidez at any point. He’s too good, and he’s not flawed in some way that we’ve seen from Canelo’s past opponents.
What Benavidez says about Canelo making a mistake by not fighting him now makes sense, but it doesn’t mean that he’ll choose to fight him when he’s in the top of his game in two to four years..
Canelo hasn’t looked in the direction of Jermall Charlo, a fighter that he should have fought as the WBC middleweight champion. Instead of fighting Charlo, Canelo was given the Franchise champion tag, and ignored him.
If boxing was run like the NFL, Canelo would be forced to fight Benavidez, and we would see who the better fighter was between them.
That’s not how the sport is run, especially for the superstar boxers, who can pretty much pick and choose who they want to fight without being forced to compete against guys that would beat them. That’s why you see Canelo being able to fight a champion on four weeks’ notice.
Callum Smith gassed out after three rounds with Alvarez
“That would be crazy [fighting Gennadiy Golovkin]. I’m not sure that can happen because he’s still at 160,” Benavidez said. “If it happens, it would be an amazing fight. I’m open to anything. I just want to be the best fighter.
“The only thing that bothered me about that fight was the timeframe that Callum Smith had to prepare for that fight [with Canelo].
“He got four weeks’ notice. Anytime you get four-week notice, it’s not a four-week camp. You’re training three weeks or the fight, and the last week, you’re going to Texas or wherever the fight may be to get the rest of the weight off.
“That’s kind of what messed up Callum Smith a little bit more. I think if they gave him a little more time, giving him eight weeks. Canelo did what he had to do and looked amazing.
“He worked very angle of Callum Smith’s body,” said Benavidez. “Uppercuts, hook. He honestly looked like the bigger man that night because he was backing up Callum Smith.
“I don’t know if it was intimidation or if Callum Smith had too much respect for him. But he looked gassed by the third round. He didn’t look strong at all and didn’t look like the bigger guy.
“I don’t know what was going on with him, but Canelo did what he was supposed to do and won the fight,” said Benavidez.
Callum didn’t just look poor for the Canelo fight. He had the same look in his previous fight against John Ryder in November 2019. This means that either Callum is no longer able to get down to 168 without being weakened or he was never that good to begin with.
I’ve watched Callum Smith fight for years, and I never thought he was a great fighter. He always had decent power, but he’s never looked great. That’s why it was a joke how Canelo mentioned often the reason why he selected Smith, saying that he was the #1 fighter at 168.
The fact is, Smith was never the #1 guy. He was just a guy that won the World Boxing Super Series tournament after the top guy, George Groves, suffered a shoulder injury. If not for that injury, Groves would have likely won the tourney with flying colors, and exposed the badly flawed Smith in the same way Canelo did.
Benavidez lists fighters that would trouble Canelo
“Yeah, definitely, that would be an amazing fight,” said Benavidez when asked about his thoughts on a fight between Canelo and Jermall Charlo.
“The thing is, Canelo has so many opponents to pick from. It’s hard to get to him. He’s getting the fights that make more sense to him.
“I think he’s looking, I would say, for less risk. The type of stuff he does, I mean, you give somebody, it’s a sign of disrespect. How are you going to give the champion four weeks to get ready?
“I don’t know how Eddie Hearn would allow that for his fight. Callum Smith was his fighter before Canelo was, so I dn’t understand how they gave this dude four weeks to get ready.
“So there’s a lot of fights for him [Canelo] to pick from, but also, I think the best fights, the people that give Canelo the best fights, is me, [Jermall] Charlo, and Demetrius Andrade.
“I don’t think Caleb Plant because of the level of opposition he’s fought. He hasn’t been in there with his last three fights. In his next fight, And talking about the fight he just got [Caleb Truax], I don’t know what’s going on there, but he’s getting some very weak opposition.
“No disrespect to Caleb Truax, but Caleb Traux didn’t make it to his last fight. He got dehydrated and didn’t make it to his last fight.
“Why did they give Caleb Plant Caleb Truax when they could have given him the former WBC title-holder David Benavidez. That’s a way more interesting fight than Caleb Truax.
“I feel like I’m a former champion, and I should be listed at #1 in any. I should be the #1 contender for any other title. It makes more sense to me, and it would make more sense to the networks.
“Like I said, I’m going to work hard, train extremely hard and wait for my opportunity, and when my opportunity comes, I’m going to make the most of it,” said Benavidez.
Well, Canelo only needs to beat two more champions, Caleb Plant and Billy Joe Saunders, at 168 or him to accomplish his goal of becoming the undisputed champion. Once Canelo does that, he’s likely going to vacate some if not all of the 168-lb titles rather than be forced to make mandatory defenses againt dangerous guys like Benavidez.
It’s very easy to predict Canelo’s future because he’s become a Mayweather type of fighter, who picks and chooses, and is able to say when and where he wants his fights to take place. So instead of fights against the likes of Gennadiy Golovkin taking place in a neutral venue, they’re staged in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The only chance Benavidez has of getting a fight against Canelo is to beat a bunch of top guys at 168 or 175, and become super popular with boxing fans.
If enough fans want to see Canelo fight Benavidez, we may see the fight happening. It’s not a good sign that Benavidez has failed to gain a large following among fans despite having held the WBC super middleweight title off and on since 2017.
Part of the problem with that is Benanvidez has fought the wrong opposition, and he’s not on a network that is filled with other popular fighters in his weight class.
Caleb Plant is on Benavidez’s hit list
“I don’t care about the titles,” said Benavidez. “I just want to hurt this due [Caleb Plant], and if I don’t hurt him, it’s not going to be a win for me.
“And I want this guy to remember me for the rest of his life. I want him to look back t the end of his career after I beat his a** and think, ‘Man, I shouldn’t have got in with that guy.’
“That’s what I think about every day. I don’t just want to beat him. I want to beat the s*** out of him. That’s the only way I’ll be satisfied.
“When I get that guy in there, it’s probably going to be one of the greatest victories f my career,” said Benavidez.
If Canelo dethrones IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant in 2021, it’ll be a waste of time for Benavidez to seek him out for a fight.
Benavidez needs to focus on getting his WBC belt back. He’s got the best chance of getting that title back because he’s ranked #1 with the WBC.
The other sanctionning bodies don’t have Benavidez ranked highly for soe reason, even though he’s clearly a top three fighter. If Benavidez were more popular, all the sanctioning bodies would rank him #1, and would be hoping that he would fight for their belt.
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