Stephen A Smith wants Canelo Alvarez to fight David Benavidez
By Sean Jones: Stephen A. Smith of ESPN says he wants to see 168-lb champion Canelo Alvarez defend his titles against unbeaten former two-time WBC champion David Benavidez soon.
Smith sees Benavidez (24-0, 21 KOs) as someone capable of giving Canelo (56-1-2, 38 KOs) a run for his money at super middleweight, unlike the belt-holders he’s been beating lately to win belts.
Despite having a reputation for being fearless, Canelo hasn’t shown the desire to share the ring with the younger, bigger, stronger 24-year-old Benavidez.
However, Alvarez won’t have any choice in the matter soon, as Benavidez is facing Jose Uzcategui next month in a WBC 168-lb title eliminator at the Phoenix Arena, Phoenix, Arizona.
The winner of the Benavidez vs. Uzcategui fight will be the mandatory challenger to Canelo.
If Canelo chooses to continue to ignore Benavidez, as he has since he moved up to 168 in 2018, he’ll be stripped of his WBC title by the World Boxing Council if he doesn’t vacate it first.
Vacating titles is something Canelo has done before, so it won’t be surprising if he makes that move.
Benavidez has a tough fight that he needs to win against the heavy-handed former IBF super middleweight champion Uzcategui (31-4, 26 KOs) on August 28th in the main event on Showtime Boxing.
Canelo vs. Jermall Charlo
“I’m not sure that Jermall Charlo is big enough to beat Canelo, but the brother is 32-0,” said Stephen A. Smith on ESPN’s First Take in talking about Jermall Charlo.
“When are we going to give him some love of deserving a title shot, a big fight against a big name fighter. Do you know who I’m a fan of, a huge fan of?
“He don’t look the part, but when he gets in the ring, Molly, he’s a monster. David Benavidez, this brother right here, I’d like to see Canelo against somebody like that.
“I’m looking at Canelo Alvarez and these fighters right here. I’m just saying to you, feel free to educate me because I watch the sport, but not as you do, so I’m going to defer to you,” said Smith.
You can’t give Canelo flak for not fighting Jermall Charlo because this is a guy that hasn’t shown a desire to move up in weight to face him at 168.
Charlo wants Canelo to move back down to 160 before he fights him, and that’s not going to happen.
If Charlo doesn’t fight Canelo soon, he will get beaten by someone, and he’ll lose his unbeaten record. Charlo was hurt repeatedly by his last opponent Juan Macias Montiel on June 19th.
That performance showed that Charlo isn’t in the same league as Canelo, David Benavidez, Gennady Golovkin, or Demetrius Andrade. It’s nice that Charlo has an unbeaten record, but that came at the expense of many flawed fighters that were made to order for him.
Alvarez vs. David Benavidez
“But when I see Canelo and I see a cat like Benavidez with the speed, the boxing ability, and the power and the viciousness.
“There are certain guys that deserve love. Benavidez is 24-0 with 21 KOs. Canelo is 56-1-2. His only loss was to Floyd Mayweather.
“He has 38 knockouts. That’s 18 fights; he hasn’t had a knockout. Benavidez has knocked out 90% of the dudes he’s faced.
“Jermall Charlo, when are we going to say at least, and I’m not sure he can beat Canelo, but when are we going to sit up there and say about Jermall Charlo. Can we give this brother some love?
“Yeah, I saw that he was at Marvin Hagler’s memorial service, and I’ve got love for Andrade.
“He can box. I’m not sure if he’s a puncher, but he can box; I get that. But Charlo, can we get this man a big fight?
“I mean, people are hiding from him. Give him something. Him [Jermall] and Benavidez are my two,” said Smith.
“I’d like to see Canelo move up to fight [Dimitry] Bivol, a light heavyweight boxer or [Artur] Beterbiev,” said Max Kellerman.
“I want to see Canelo vs. Beterbiev. To me, that’s the best fight you can make other than Crawford – Spence.”
We’ll have to see if Canelo ever fights Benavidez. Canelo has chosen to fight the weak paper champions Rocky Fielding, Billy Joe Saunders, Callum Smith, and Caleb Plant, which suggests that he’s looking for superficial things by beating flawed belt-holders.
The way that Canelo is setting his sights on moving up to 175 after he fights Plant, you have to view that as the Mexican star fleeing the division so he won’t have to fight Benavidez.
We’ll likely see Canelo quickly vacate all four of his 168-lb titles once he beats Plant in September, which will free him from the responsibility of needing to fight Benavidez.
Canelo is a good fighter, but he’s also cautious about the type of guys he fights. For example, Canelo didn’t face Gennadiy Golovkin until after he turned 36, and many boxing fans believe he intentionally waited GGG out until he got old before fighting him.
Unfortunately8, Canelo can’t do that with Benavidez. If Canelo waits four or five years before fighting Benavidez, he’ll be in his mid-30s, whereas David will be in his prime at 28.
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- David Benavidez says Plant is lucky Canelo is fighting him first
- ‘Tired with Canelo, it’s curtains,’ Anthony Dirrell predicts Alvarez vs. Plant