Not Ready For The Big Time
By Angel Flowers: There are many boxers out in the game today that are supremely talented. However, just having talent does not make you a megastar or give you the kinds of money Floyd Mayweather Jr, Saul Alvarez, or even Anthony Joshua has made in their careers.
For every boxing mage star such as Oscar De la Hoya, there were plenty of others like Andre Ward, Timothy Bradley, Erik Morales, and more recently Terence Crawford, who are fantastic boxers and well known to boxing fans that were not able to break into the big money.
Some were due to their fighting style, others due to management, and some were due to the attitudes of the boxers themselves.
Below are some of the names that will never be a megastar if they do not change something:
The biggest case in this article of someone not ready for the big time is David Benavidez. He is a big man with a big punch and has a fan-friendly style.
He is definitely one of the top boxers in the super middleweight division and should be a star; unfortunately, poor matchmaking, inability to take a risk and horrible attitude have dogged this fighter.
Benavidez is a big 168 pounder who has refused to test himself. He hasn’t fought any of the champions at 168, and do not let his rhetoric fool you about his willingness to fight Caleb Plant.
Benavidez wants that fight because it could set up a lucrative match with Canelo. Benavidez has repeatedly been calling out Plant because he wants that title in order to fight Canelo.
Benavidez could have already had the fight if he were willing to face better opposition.
At no time has Benavidez talked about facing light middleweights Dimitry Bivol or Artur Beterbiev, two men that are the same size as him that would grant him instant fame if he were to beat them both.
Benavidez had his time to clean out the super middleweight division and failed to. He lost his title twice due to drug use and for weighing in at his natural weight class.
A combination of poor work ethic, bad decision making, and being scared to fight others is why despite being a great talent, this man will never become a megastar.
The only way I can see forward for him is to face a few tough fights that are a combination of high risk, high reward, or high risk, low reward.
Despite being a powerhouse and in the fight game for a few years, he is less well known than Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis, or Shakur Stevenson, who have not been professionals as longer. The next great fighter that is not quite ready is Teofimo Lopez.
Teofimo is a great fighter that due to his unwillingness to put himself in a high-risk fight, will always be one of those people who quite never make it.
Facing Vasyl Lomachenko was not a high-risk fight; if he lost, it would be seen as a learning experience, and he could just move on.
If he won, then he would be recognized as a legitimate threat and one of the elites. Lopez did what he had to, but his attitude since then is why he will never become a megastar.
I do not think it is arguable that Ryan Garcia is a bigger star than Teofimo Lopez despite Lopez having almost all of the titles and Garcia not having any.
All of the megastars offer rematches in close fights for a championship, Saul Alvarez did with Gennady Golovkin, Floyd Mayweather did with Jose Luis Castillo, and Marcos Maidana.
Lopez not only refuses to face Lomachenko again, but he is also playing around with whether he is going to face the WBC Champ in Devin Haney.
Some boxers just have the It factor. They were born that way or have the right promoter underneath them. Lopez does not have either, so he can only reach mega-stardom by taking the high-risk fights.
Fighting Lomachenko now would be high risk; challenging any of the big three at 140 would be high risk; Josh Taylor, Jose Ramirez, and Regis Prograis are all live bodies who wouldn’t offer a huge payday.
Even beating Devin Haney is something that would be High Risk since Lopez could lose all of his titles if he fails.
As is, Lopez acts as if he is a megastar when in reality, he is just a great boxer.
The last person on my list may be too late, Gennady Golovkin.
Over ninety percent of Golovkin’s net worth stems from his two fights with Saul Alvarez.
Golovkin has been rumored to have a net worth anywhere from thirty million to thirty-five million. The two fights with Saul Alvarez brought in thirty-seven million dollars for Golovkin for reference.
Golovkin was lucky to get a fight with a megastar; his loud-mouth rhetoric is something many fighters try to do in order to get a high reward fight.
Unfortunately, Golovkin refuses to face decent opposition unless absolutely forced to. Like Teofimo, Golovkin does not give rematches to people that can beat him.
The only reason Saul Alvarez was granted one was because the last fight brought in twenty-two million for Golovkin.
Golovkin shouldn’t and wouldn’t need to face Alvarez for that type of money if he were willing to take chances.
For reference, Alvarez received twenty million from his last fight with Avni Yildirim and at least that much when he faced Callum Smith.
Golovkin figures he is also a megastar which is untrue. This article isn’t about who is better, Alvarez or Golovkin; it is about who is braver and willing to take risks.
Golovkin has tried to get by on calling out megastars to fight him while being scared to take on any other challenge. Golovkin arguably lost his fights with Daniel Jacobs and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
Golovkin refuses to face them and also will not face Jermall Charlo, who has repeatedly called him out, or Demetrius Andrade despite both of them being titleholders.
Golovkin has never tried to unify the division and thinks he can get by on fighting people like Kamil Szeremeta or Steve Rolls.
The only reason Golovkin fought Derevyanchenko was because he thought it would be an easy fight instead of the blood bath it became.
Errol Spence and Terence Crawford
Honorable mention for not quite ready for the big time goes to both Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford.
Spence has been ducking Crawford; Spence believes he is a megastar, and that is not true. Spence cannot demand the purse of someone like Saul Alvarez or even Lomachenko.
Fighting and beating Terence Crawford would make him the man at 147.
He would be well on his way to making at least half of Mayweather-type money and could honestly say he has no one left to fight and then start taking the smart High Reward type fights.
Spence lacks the bravery of his PBC stablemates, Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter.
It could be argued that Spence lost his fight against Porter and should give him a rematch, something that will never happen.
Terence Crawford makes the list for his attitude.
Crawford knows that Spence is ducking him, which only leaves him a few choices.
Vergil Ortiz is a knockout machine that is a high-risk fight. Make no mistake, Ortiz is a live body.
Crawford has taken tough fights before from fighters with less name recognition in Jose Benavidez and Egidijus Kavaliauskas.
Fights like that are what has made him the pound-for-pound number one in the world, according to ESPN and countless other boxing outlets.
Then why isn’t he making the kind of money Mega-Stars make? Combination of promoter and his unwillingness to face tougher opposition.
The big names are running scared from Terence Crawford. I get it. The only thing he can do is weight jump. Everyone knows Crawford is a blown-up 140 pounder.
He can grab a title at 140 to hold two titles simultaneously or move up to 154 for a fight or two and take a title there.
Instead, he has been content to whine about no one wanting to fight him by pricing themselves out of a fight.
- David Benavidez vs. Jose Uzcategui on Aug.28 in WBC 168-lb title eliminator
- Showtime Boxing & PBC Announce LOADED Boxing Schedule!
- David Benavidez on standby to face Canelo if Saunders pulls out for May 8th fight
- Jose Benavidez Sr: Jermall Charlo beats Canelo Alvarez