Canelo open to fighting Benavidez or Golovkin after unifying 168 in 2021
By Dan Ambrose: Canelo Alvarez says he’s willing to possibly fight David Benavidez or Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin after he finishes up becoming the undisputed 168-lb champion in 2021 by beating Billy Joe Saunders and Caleb Plant.
The U.S fans have been underwhelmed by Canelo’s mission to unify the 168-lb division, as they never demanded that he fight belt-holders Rocky Fielding, Callum Smith, Saunders, and Plant.
Fans want to see Alvarez fight Benavidez
Unifying the 168-lb division was what Canelo wanted, not what the fans were asking him to do.
Unquestionably, the #1 fight the fans want to see from Canelo is against former two-time WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez (24-0, 21 KOs), preferably in 2021.
All the nonsense that Canelo is putting fans through by targeting the constantly complaining Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) and Plant, are fights that only Alvarez wants.
You can understand why Canelo wants Saunders and Plant so badly. They present no risk for Canelo.
Saunders is someone that some fans feel ran from the 160-lb division to avoid a fight with Demetrius Andrade when he was on his doorstep as the mandatory for his WBO middleweight title.
Rather than defend against Andrade, Saunders vacated and moved up to 168 once the WBO title was vacated by champion Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez.
Luckily for Saunders, he only had to fight an unknown guy named Shefat Isufi that the World Boxing Organization had given a high ranking to for some reason. Saunders is a belt-holder, not someone that proved himself by beating a talented super middleweight to capture his WBO title.
It’s the same thing we saw from Saunders at 160, though. He picked up his WBO middleweight title beating Andy Lee, a fighter that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr knocked out.
Canelo willing to fight Benavidez or Golovkin
“Yes, sure, why not?” Canelo said about the idea of fighting Benavidez or Golovkin after he finishes unifying the 168lb division in 2021. “It could be once my goal is achieved.”
Well, if Canelo is serious about fighting Benavidez, that would be great. There’s less interest from boxing fans seeing Canelo fight the 39-year-old Golovkin again, as it’s been too long since the last fight.
The time for Canelo to give Golovkin his trilogy match would have been in late 2018 or early 2019 rather than waiting three to four years to fight him in late 2021 or 2022.
Golovkin has done nothing since his loss to Canelo in 2018, and it appears to some fans that he’s taking safe fights since signing a big contract with DAZN in 2019. In Golovkin’s three fights with the streaming giant, he’s beaten Steve Rolls, Kamil Szeremeta, and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
Golovkin is now supposed to be fighting WBA secondary middleweight champion Ryota Murata, in December. That’s another Rolls/Szeremeta type of fight for Golovkin.
The fans would prefer to see Canelo take on Benavidez over Golovkin, which would be against a young guy who fights at 168 and is still hungry.
Alvarez says he wants the best matches
“The thing that happens is people are always asking why not fight Callum Smith instead, and then when the fight comes, they are wondering ‘Oh, but it was not as good as we expected,’” Canelo said in sounding like he’s coming up with a reason NOT to fight Benavidez, “but that’s because they were facing me.”
“What I really want is the best possible matches,” Alvarez said, “to continue making history in my career.”
American boxing fans were never the ones that wanted Canelo to fight WBA belt-holder Callum Smith. That was clearly the British fans that wanted to see Canelo fight Smith, and they’re the ones that are pushing for him to fight Saunders.
The U.S fans don’t rate Saunders highly, and they also felt that Callum was hype after watching him win a controversial decision over John Ryder. Callum deserved a loss against Ryder.
If Canelo wants to fight the best, he should forget about Saunders and Plant and focus on fighting Benavidez, Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade, Dimitry Bivol, Artur Beterbiev, and Edgar Berlanga.
Fighting Plant and Saunders won’t further Canelo’s goals of fighting the best.
Would Canelo be eager to unify the 168-lb division if these were the champions?
- David Benavidez
- Jemall Charlo
- Artur Beterbiev
- Dmitry Bivol
- Demetrius Andrade
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