By Sean Jones: Mike Tyson says he wanted Canelo Alvarez to fight David Benavidez now before he retires from the sport. Tyson feels that Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) is on his way out, heading soon towards retirement.
Tyson admires the talent of the unbeaten, highly ranked super middleweight contender Benavidez (25-0, 22 KOs), who he calls “Monster.”
Benavidez is the guy Tyson wants Canelo to fight the most, and he feels that it would be a real shame if he chooses not to fight him before stepping away from the sport.
It’s difficult for Tyson to understand why Canelo wouldn’t fight Benavidez because he didn’t duck opposition during his career. Tyson wasn’t an opportunist that would cherry-pick his rival during the prime of his career.
Canelo’s focus on playing a lot of golf and his choice of opposition in the last four years suggests that he’s slowly heading to retirement.
He hasn’t had a serious fight in four years since his rematch with Gennady Golovkin in 2018.
Tyson wants Canelo to fight Benavidez
“You’d have to go with Canelo, but there are still so many up and coming, but Canelo is almost on his way out,” said Mike Tyson. “David Benavidez, he’s a great fighter coming up.
“There are so many great fighters out there. There are some young guys out there. David Benavidez. I call him the ‘Monster.’ He’s tough. I would love to see Canelo fight him.
“If it doesn’t happen, it would be a shame to boxing,” said Tyson when asked if he thinks the Canelo vs. Benavidez fight will happen.”
The Canelo vs. Benavidez fight hasn’t happened, and it should have already in the last five years.
Canelo had the chance to fight Benavidez when he held the WBC 168-lb title, but instead, he opted to face WBA secondary champion Fielding. What does that tell you?
Robert Garcia says Canelo should make Benavidez wait
“Bivol, GGG because he’s going to get all four,” said trainer Robert Garcia to ESNEWS when asked if Canelo should fight Bivol and Golovkin first in 2022 or Jermall Charlo and David Benavidez.
“If he goes to Charlo and Benavidez now, which are younger, and they’re still going to be there, then he might lose that GGG fight. But if he does the GGG fight this year, next year, he can go back and do the same deal against Charlo and Benavidez,” said Garcia.
The problem with Canelo not fighting Charlo and Benavidez in 2022 is that he may lose to Dmitry Bivol or Gennadiy Golovkin in 2022.
From watching Canelo’s recent fights, we’ve seen that his work rate has dropped off, and that’s not intentional on his part. He’s gotten older, and he can no longer throw a lot of shots.
Even if Canelo does beat Bivol and Golovkin in 2022, the fights will be so hard for him that he’ll choose not to fight Benavidez in 2023, knowing that he’d likely lose.
Canelo will probably still fight Charlo in 2023 because he’s a badly flawed fighter he will beat. Charlo looks like he’s fading as a fighter rapidly.
“They’re young. Benavidez is like 24. Charlo is like 26 or 27, somewhere around there,” said Robert about the 25-year-old Benavidez and 31-year-old Jermall.
“So those guys are young and can wait a year or two if Canelo wants. Canelo, he’s a smart businessman. That’s what he is right now. He’s doing very, very smart business.
“If he picks Charlo and Benavidez, GGG might be too old by the time they fight him. GGG might lose. Canelo needs to give the third fight with GGG,” Garcia said.
Garcia’s remark about Canelo being a “smart businessman” can be interpreted to mean that he’s an ‘opportunist’ or ‘cherry-picker’ because that’s basically what he’s been doing since late 2018.
Canelo has had no hard fights where his opponents had anywhere near a 50-50 shot of beating him since late 2018. He chose to fight the weak champions from England at 168 after Benavidez lost his WBC title on the scales in 2020.
Canelo’s opposition since late 2018:
- Rocky Fielding – WBA ‘regular’ 168-lb champion
- Sergey Kovalev – WBO 175-lb champion
- Daniel Jacobs
- Avni Yildirim – former sparring partner for Canelo
- Billy Joe Saunders – WBO 168-lb champion
- Callum Smith – WBA ‘Super’ 168-lb champion
- Caleb Plant – IBF 168-lb champion
Those are all opportunistic picks by Canelo, choosing weak champions from Europe, sparring partner, Plant, and washed Kovalev & Jacobs.
“I think Canelo beats him, and he might even stop him,” Robert said in predicting a win over the soon-to-be 40-year-old Golovkin. “It’s just common sense that GGG is already up there in age.
“People are, ‘Oh, Canelo is afraid to fight Charlo and Benavidez.’ No, Canelo isn’t afraid to fight them, but they’re young. Give them another year or so before fighting them,” said Garcia.
I don’t think Canelo will stop Golovkin because he can’t throw enough punches to stop him, and even if he hurt him, he won’t be able to finish the job.