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David Benavidez: Canelo will vacate WBC title without fighting me

David Benavidez, Canelo Alvarez boxing photo

By Sean Jones: David Benavidez says he has zero faith that WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez will fight him once he becomes his mandatory challenger after defeating Ronald Ellis.

Benavidez believes that Canelo (55-1-2, 37 KOs) will vacate his WBC title once he completes his goal of becoming the undisputed 168-lb champion in 2021.

If Canelo doesn’t vacate, Benavidez says he’ll have the WBC make him the Franchise champion so that he’s not required to make title defenses. The WBC has already done this for Canelo once before, so it’s a simple matter of him asking the organization.

Canelo has two fights against WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders on May 8th and IBF belt holder Caleb Plant in September before he finishes unifying the 168lb division.

At that point, former WBC super middleweight champion Benavidez (23-0, 20 KOs) predicts Canelo will relinquish his titles so he can pick and choose his opponents without needing to worry about taking risky fights against him.

This month, Benavidez will be facing Ronald Ellis (18-1-2, 12 KOs) in a secondary WBC 168-lb title eliminator on March 13th at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.

The winner of that fight was supposed to be taking on the winner of last Saturday’s clash between Anthony Dirrell and Kyrone Davis.

Unfortunately, the Dirrell-Davis match ended in a 12 round draw. As a result, it’s unclear what the World Boxing Council plans on doing.

Will they make the Benavidez-Ellis winner sit and wait for the rematch between Dirrell vs. Davis to be rescheduled and playout, or will they rule that whoever emerges as the victor of the Benavidez vs. Ellis fight be mandatory?

Either way, Benavidez has no faith that Canelo will fight him if he’s the last man standing as his mandatory.

Benavidez: Canelo won’t fight me

“That was my understanding, but since the fight was a draw, I’m kind of confused right now. Who steps forward after Dirrell and Davis?” said David Benavidez in talking to Premier Boxing Champions.

David Benavidez, Canelo Alvarez boxing photo

“Right now, my job is to beat whoever they put in front of me. I really don’t care. To be honest, Canelo, if I win the mandatory like I am, I feel like Canelo isn’t going to give me the opportunity anyways.

“I think he’s probably going to vacate the [WBC] title and do nothing like that. I mean, I would love to fight Canelo and show the world that I’m the best.

“Honestly, I don’t think he’s [Canelo] going to take the fight. We were never in talks before when I had the WBC title. We were never in talks to make the fight happen.

“He reached out to every other champion. I feel like when he beats Billy Joe Saunders and Caleb Plant, I feel like he’s going to say his work in the super middleweight division is done.

“So it doesn’t matter to me if it’s Canelo, Caleb Plant, Charlo, or Ronald Ellis. My job is to beat whoever, and I am going to beat whoever it is they put in front of me,” said Benavidez.

You got to agree with Benavidez that Canelo WON’T fight him if he becomes his mandatory with the WBC.

Canelo will have an excuse not to fight him by saying that he’s the undisputed champion at 168, and it’s pointless for him to make title defenses any longer.

Is Canelo avoiding Benavidez?

“I don’t know. He never mentions my name,” said Benavidez when asked if Canelo is ‘avoiding’ him. “He talks about everybody else but me.

David Benavidez, Canelo Alvarez boxing photo

“Some people say I’m desperate for the fight. I’m not desperate for no money. I am desperate to show the world that I am the best. I’m willing to fight whoever.

“I’ll fight Berlanga, I’ll fight Charlo, I’ll fight Caleb Plant, and I’ll fight Canelo. I just want to show the world that I’m the best. I want the opportunity to show the world that I’m the best.

“There’s a lot of similarities between me and Canelo. Body shots, uppercuts. The thing about me, I have a wicked variety of punches. I can put my punches together just as good as he can, and I have an amazing jab.

“You seen when Kovalev fought Canelo, Kovalev was hitting him with a slow, stiff jab, and Canelo was unable to get in. I can jab; I can throw a hard jab all night.

“So I feel like I give him the hardest fight of anybody, and I feel like his team knows that too. And I feel like that’s the reason why they’re kind of avoiding me.

“If he does vacate his belt, he’s going to show everybody how afraid he is of me. People can say that I’m desperate and Canelo is too experienced and all of that.

“Until he gets in the ring and shows me, I feel like I’m the best in the world, and I’ll beat that guy,” said Benavidez.

It sure does look like Canelo is avoiding Benavidez and has been doing it for the last four years.

What makes it seem obvious is the way that Canelo didn’t show interest in becoming the undisputed champion at 168 until after Benavidez was stripped of his title after failing to make weight last year.

As Benavidez points out, Canelo never mentioned his name when talking about fighting different guys in the division.

Yildirim didn’t impress

“It was good, and I take nothing away from him,” said Benavidez when asked about his thoughts on Canelo’s performance against Avni Yildirim.

“I don’t hate on Canelo. He’s a great fighter. He did exactly what he was supposed to do. The variety and the body shots. I just feel like Yildirim; what did he throw, like 15 punches?

“Something like that. It was ridiculous. But I feel like Yildirim is not at the level. You saw that he couldn’t even beat Dirrell, and I stopped Dirrell. He wasn’t going to compete with Canelo.

“It was a good fight. He did what he was supposed to do. I always get credit where credit is due.

“I felt like the victory could have gone to Dirrell,” said Benavidez on the Anthony Dirrell vs. Kyrone Davis fight from last Saturday night. “I feel like his shots were more effective, and he was landing more shots.

“The judges see it a little bit different. I was getting kind of excited because I wanted to get the rematch with Dirrell.

“I felt like it was a good fight, and it deserved a rematch. If we could make a rematch, I would not be disappointed. I just want to give the fans the best fights they want to see, and I’ll fight whoever,” said Benavidez.

Yildirim looked every bit as bad as Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, and he’d already looked poor even before Canelo fought him. Chris Eubank Jr. blew Yildirim out in three rounds in 2017, and he lost to Anthony Dirrell two years ago in his last fight in 2019.

It was strange that Canelo was so interested in defending his WBC title against Avni Yildirim, even after he’d lost his last fight and been out of the ring for two years.

The interest that Canelo showed in fighting Yildirim made it look like he wanted an easy fight. As Benavidez said, he thinks Canelo wouldn’t have fought him if he’d been the WBC mandatory instead of Yildirim.

Benavidez doesn’t care if he needs another eliminator

“If it’s a good fight for the fans, I’m here for the fans to give them what they want to see,” Benavidez said.

“It doesn’t matter to me,” said Benavidez when asked if he wants to get clarification with the WBC if he is mandatory if he beats Ronald Ellis. “If they want to make it a world title eliminator.

“I felt like I was already in line. I lost the title, but I don’t think I need a title eliminator. But if I need a title eliminator, I’m all for it. I’ll beat whoever they put in front of me,” said Benavidez.

It’s hard to believe the WBC will make Benavidez win two title eliminators to become Canelo’s mandatory. Would the WBC make Canelo win two title eliminators to try and become Benavidez’s mandatory if he were still holding onto the WBC title?

The way Benavidez has to win two title eliminators to become Canelo’s mandatory gives the impression the sanctioning body is protecting the superstar.


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