Team Canelo interested in Benavidez or Charlo next says Showtime President
By Huck Allan: Showtime President Stephen Espinoza says Team Canelo Alvarez has expressed interest in facing David Benavidez or Jermall Charlo in his next fight.
Those two are the ideal options for Canelo, 31, around his weight class for his next fight. The other possibilities for Canelo will require a certain amount of risk on his part, as he would be moving up to 175 to challenge IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev or WBA champion Dmitry Bivol.
Canelo is done collecting titles at 168
Compared to Canelo’s journey in collecting all four titles at 168, it would be no small task for him to beat Beterbiev or Bivol. Those fighters would likely easily have destroyed the four champions Canelo defeated to become the undisputed super middleweight champion.
Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) became the four-belt super middleweight undisputed champion last Saturday night in defeating IBF 168-lb champion Caleb ‘Sweethands’ Plant (21-1, 12 KOs) by an 11th round knockout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Plant, 28, gave it a good try, but in the end, he lacked the pop in his punches and the gas tank needed for him to defeat Canelo. What was disappointing was how quickly Plant faded in the fight.
He looked physically spent after four rounds, and he had precious little energy to fight as hard as was required for him to pull off the upset against Canelo.
All the flaws in Plant’s game pointed out by boxing fans and the media going into his fight with Canelo last Saturday surfaced during the contest.
It was difficult watching the fight, knowing that Plant probably would have never gotten the opportunity to face Canelo if he’d been tested beforehand by David Benavidez.
Canelo could face Benavidez or Charlo next
“For my money, the two most interesting fights for Canelo next are Jermall Charlo and David Benavidez or David Benavidez and Jermall Charlo,” said Showtime president of Sports Stephen Espinoza to ESNEWS when asked who Canelo should fight next.
“We’ve certainly mentioned those to Team Canelo, and there is interest,” Espinoza continued. “We’ve seen this year that Canelo has stayed busy. I would expect that he’ll roll into his next fight pretty quickly.
“It’s been great,” said Espinoza when asked what it’s been like working with Canelo. “He’s been around, his team is experienced, and they know what they want. That’s the biggest difference.
“They’ve done a lot of big events and done business with a lot of different people. They know what they want, and that makes it a lot easier for us when we present them with options, or they tell us a vision for n event.
“So it’s been great, and at this point in his career, Canelo deserves the opportunity to determine his events. The team is experienced, and we love collaborating with them,” said Espinoza.
Besides Benavidez, Charlo, Bivol, and Beterbiev for Canelo, the other options are Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin and John Ryder.
Canelo can make good money fighting a trilogy match with Golovkin (41-1-1, 36, but it’s unclear whether the Kazakh would be willing to come up to 168 to take the fight.
Ryder is Canelo’s WBA mandatory at 168, and the British fighter’s promoter Eddie Hearn would like for Alvarez to come to England to defend against him.
Canelo speaking English helps fans connect
“Yeah, it’s been really interesting going through some of the old All Access footage. It’s been interesting. You forget what a baby-face he [Canelo] had, even back when he was on Showtime.
“Just physically the way he’s matured and the way that his skills have matured and the place he’s taken in boxing,” said Espinoza in commenting on the process Canelo has gone through over the years to develop into the ‘Face of Boxing.’
“I think in the U.S, they don’t appreciate what he means in Mexico and Latin America,” said Espinoza of Canelo. “Literally, he’s the most famous athlete in the country.
“So just like the Philippines stopped when Manny [Pacquiao] fought. Mexico will stop, and Latin America will stop [when Canelo] fights. He is certainly an icon there, and I think he’s a great ambassador for the sport.
“One of the things that are really interesting and great for the sport and him personally is we’ve heard now for the first time repeatedly Canelo speaking English.
“First, it gives him a lot of cover to come out and speak a second language, which on a media platform, that takes a lot,” said Espinoza of Canelo.
“He’s done it and done it very well, and that just makes a stronger connection for the non-English speaker. I think it’s a big step in his career and for the sport,” said Espinoza.
It’s excellent that Canelo is speaking English now because it allows him to connect to the U.S fans and media more readily. However, he’s still relying a little too much on his interpreters during interviews, and it would be nice to see him go without their assistance.
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- VIDEO: Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin – Post Fight Review
- Eddie Hearn talking to Canelo’s team about Bivol rematch in 2023