Jose Benavidez Sr. SCOLDS Canelo for not fighting #1 guy at 168
By Dan Ambrose: Jose Benavidez Sr. thinks Canelo Alvarez is “running scared” of David Benavidez. He believes he won’t be coming back down to the super middleweight division to defend his WBC title after going up to cruiserweight in May.
Jose Sr. doesn’t understand WHY Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) isn’t willing to defend against the #1 and #2 contenders at 168 after becoming the undisputed super middleweight champion last November.
#1 WBC Benavidez (25-0, 22 KOs) will be facing #2 David Lemieux (43-4, 36 KOs) in a World Boxing Council-ordered battle for the interim WBC super middleweight title. The Benavidez vs. Lemieux contest will be taking place in the first quarter of 2022 on PPV.
If Canelo returns to the 168-lb division, he’ll be expected to defend against the Benavidez-Lemieux winner.
If Canelo chooses not to return to super middleweight or ignores the winner, he’ll lose his WBC title, and the Benavidez-Lemieux winner will be the new champion.
Jose Benavidez thinks Canelo WON’T return to 168
It’ll be too hard for Canelo to return to the 168-lb division after he bulks up to fight at cruiserweight next May, and I don’t think he’s crazy enough even to try.
We’re going to see Canelo to up to cruiserweight and rip the WBC belt from the paper champion Ilunga Makabu on May 7th.
From there, Canelo will drop down one weight class to 175 and start going after the champions in that division.
My guess is Canelo will first target WBA 175-lb champion Dmitry Bivol followed by WBO champion Joe Smith Jr. and then finally IBF/WBC champion Artur Beterbiev if he’s still the champion by the time the Mexican star looks to face him.
“If he [Canelo] thinks it’s an easy fight to face David [Benavidez], if David hasn’t accomplished anything, if David hasn’t fought any champions, I think that should be an easy payday for [Alvarez],” said Jose Benavidez Sr. to YSM Sports Media in reacting to Canelo questioning what Benavidez brings to him and asking which champions has he beaten.
“You [Canelo] should shut everyone’s mouth and take those challenges because when you’re at that level, you’re going to have a lot of challenges. There’s a lot of new guys and talented, strong guys.
“So, I don’t think he’s coming back to 168,” said Jose Sr. about Canelo. “I think he’s going to stay at 175 or do other things, but he knows David Benavidez is at 168. If he [Canelo] comes, he’s going to be waiting for him.
“We’re not worried about him right now. We’re fighting David Lemieux next, and we’re focused on what we’re doing. I don’t care what Canelo does. Hopefully, he leaves all those belts, and we go after them and try to get all those belts and do our thing.
“They [Team Canelo] can do whatever they want to do. If they want to fight, fine. If not, we got a tough challenge next year.
“David Benavidez will be fighting David Lemieux because that’s a big fight, and he’s a dangerous fighter, and we got to focus on Lemieux. We got to focus on him and train hard for that fight,” said Jose Sr.
I think Canelo will likely hold the 168-lb titles hostage for as long as possible before the sanctioning body strips him when it becomes clear that he won’t return to the division.
It’s in Canelo’s best interest to hold onto his super middleweight belts, even if he has no intention of returning to the division because it looks good for him to have his name in four places in the 168-lb rankings.
Holding onto the belts at super middleweight will give Canelo greater visibility.
Canelo fought OLD champions at 168
I wouldn’t say that ALL the champions Canelo beat at 168 were old, but Billy Joe Saunders was old. The other champions that Canelo beat at super middleweight were nothing special, and were fighters were belt-holders.
“Whatever Canelo wants to do. No, I don’t like it. He [Canelo] chose all these fighters [at 168] that were on their way out,” said Jose Benavidez when asked about Canelo beating four champions at super middleweight to become undisputed champion in 2021.
“He fought all these champions that were old and not in their prime. That’s good. They did a good move. They got all their belts, but if you’re #1 and you’re the champion, and you say you’re the king at 168, you should fight the #1, #2, and #3, right?
“We’re [David Benavidez] the #1, and he doesn’t want to fight. I don’t understand. The fans can say what’s going on there because I can’t. He [Canelo] should fight the #1 and #2, you know? He should fight David because he’s the best of the best, so why not take these challenges?
“I know 100% that’s what it is because what’s the explanation for that? You know? Why are they [Team Canelo] fighting up to cruiserweight and not fighting at 168? Do you think it’s a better fight fighting the African guys than fighting David?” said Jose Sr. on Canelo.
There’s only ONE explanation for why Canelo is fighting at cruiserweight instead of staying at 168 to defend against David Benavidez.
Canelo is likely afraid of losing to Benavidez, so he’s chosen to go after the soft target in WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu because he’s sure he can beat that guy without any trouble.
Team Canelo are scared of Benavidez
Jose Sr. believes that Canelo and his management are fleeing from Benavidez by retreating to the cruiserweight division to escape a loss.
It’s transparent that Canelo and his trainer/manager Eddy Reynoso don’t want any of that smoke from Benavidez, which is they’re heading North to cruiserweight to take on WBC champion Ilunga Makabu.
Few boxing fans believe Canelo will ever return to the 168-lb division because he would need to defend against Benavidez if he did. He would likely need to face WBA ‘regular’ champion David Morrell Jr. in a move by the sanctioning body to reduce the number of titles.
“I mean, that’s a big fight fighting David. Nobody knows the African guy [Ilunga Makabu]. Am I interested in seeing that fight? No. There’s a lot of people that don’t want to see that fight.
“So, it doesn’t bring anything to the table. They say David [Benavidez] doesn’t bring anything to the table, so what does that tell you? They’re running, and they’re scared of fighting David Benavidez.
“It’s a dangerous fight for them [Canelo], and they don’t want to take that challenge. It’s bull s*** excuses. Like I say, if they weren’t so sure they could beat David, why not make the payday and buy that fight and make a lot of money? Because it would sell a lot of tickets.
“Of course, we would take it right away. There’s nothing worried about it. I’m not here to make money. We’re [David Benavidez] here to make history, and that fight could be made really easy. It could be made right away in 10 to 15 minutes.
“For the [WBC super middleweight] interim,” said Jose Benavidez Sr. about the title that will be on the line for the David Benavidez vs. Lemieux fight.
“For a lot of people that don’t know, that’s more like a second champion because when the real champion [Canelo] is moving up and we don’t know if he’s coming back. Who is taking his place?
“Now if the champion [Canelo] comes back, that should be mandatory. Still, I don’t think that’s going to happen,” said Jose in making it clear that he doubts Canelo will return to 168 to reclaim his WBC super middleweight title.
Canelo would know that he would have to defend against his dangerous mandatory David Benavidez, a nightmare for him.
This writer agrees with Jose Sr. about Canelo not returning to the 168-lb division due to him being required to defend against Benavidez.
Let’s face it; Canelo has had it easy in the last three years, beating weak 168-lb champions in Caleb Plant, Billy Joe Saunders, Callum Smith, and Rocky Fielding.
None of those champions had any talent, so it was too easy for Canelo to beat them.
You could pick out a half-dozen contenders at 168 that would have beaten those champions. These fighters would have defeated the four champions that Canelo beat at super middleweight:
- David Benavidez
- Gabe Rosado
- Edgar Berlanga
- Aslambek Idigov
- Lerrone Richards
- Aidos Yerbossynuly
- David Morrell Jr.
- Erik Bazinyan
David Morrell Jr. a future option for Benavidez
Jose Benavidez Sr. says he’d be interested in a fight between David and WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight champion David Morrell Jr. (6-0, 5 KOs) in the future.
Right now, the match doesn’t make sense because Benavidez doesn’t have a title in his possession, but once he captures the WBC 168-lb belt, a unification match against Morrell will make all the sense in the world.
“Yeah, for sure. That’s a great fight and a fight that will bring a lot of fans to boxing, but that could even be maybe in a fight or two a pay-per-view fight also,” said Benavidez Sr. about a match between David and WBA ‘regular’ 168-lb champion David Morrell Jr.
“If it happened now, I think it would be a great fight,” Jose Sr’s desire to put a bout together between Benavidez and the unbeaten Morrell Jr.
The WBC granted Saul Alvarez, a special permission to challenge the WBC champion in the Cruiserweight division in 2022. Reason for which, the Board of Governors approved a WBC interim championship in the division which will be contested by #1 David Benavidez and #2 David Lemieux. pic.twitter.com/qzyMZZugOZ
— World Boxing Council (@WBCBoxing) December 16, 2021
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