Plant vs. Benavidez to fight in March, winner faces Canelo Alvarez
By Sean Jones: The WBC ordered at their convention on Wednesday that the winner of the David Benavidez vs. Caleb Plant fight in March will be the mandatory challenger to the undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs) will be defending his interim WBC 168-lb title against ‘Sweethands’ Plant (22-1, 13 KOs) at a still-to-be-determined date and location in March.
What the WBC didn’t mention is if Canelo chooses NOT to face the Benavidez vs. Plant winner, he would be stripped of his title.
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman pointed out today that Canelo is rehabbing his surgically repaired left. There’s still no date when Canelo (58-2-2, 39 KOs) will return to the ring. However, if his promoter Eddie Hearn gets his way, Canelo will defend his undisputed 168-lb championship against Dmitry Bivol in May.
Given how overmatched Canelo was the last time he fought Bivol, it’s reasonable to assume that his time as the undisputed super middleweight champion will end with that fight, which gets him off the hook for needing to face the Benavidez vs. Plant winner.
It’ll be interesting to see if Canelo chooses to vacate his WBC title to avoid fighting Benavidez, should he come out victorious in March over former IBF super middleweight champion Plant (22-1, 13 KOs).
The fans and the media will be like a pack of laughing hyenas if Canelo vacates his WBC strap to avoid facing the young lion Benavidez. It will be a bad look on Canelo’s part if he makes that move.
Mauricio Sulaiman: “WBC champion and undisputed champion Saul Alvarez, Canelo Alvarez, and interim champion David Benavidez. Canelo Alvarez underwent surgery, and he’s currently in rehabilitation,” said WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman during Wednesday’s convention in Mexico.
“We are going to request a status from our champion to assess the time he will be available to return to defend his title,” said Sulaiman.
Sampson Lewkowicz: “We humbly request the next fight for Benavidez will most likely be in March against Caleb Plant, and the winner must be the mandatory without any excuses and fight Canelo,” said Sampson Lewkowicz, the promoter for David Benavidez.
“I want to have all the board make an improved today that it’ll be a final elimination defending his interim title and immediately only mandatory for the next fight for Canelo Alvarez. I will say Saul Canelo Alvsarez. They should make a vote now, and it’ll be appreciated.”
Sulaiman: “So we have the interim champion David Benavidez fighting #1 contender Caleb Plant. Sensational fight, and the request is the winner becomes the mandatory contender for the [WBC] division.
“So it is absolutely acceptable to have this type of fight to have the mandatory contender. So please confirm the date of Caleb Plant and David Benavidez.”
Lewkowicz: “It’ll definitely be in March.”
Sulaiman: “Caleb Plant will fight for the interim title, and the winner will become the mandatory contender for the division to fight against Canelo Alvarez.”
Lewkowicz: “There’s supposed to be an agreement with every one of you voting and mandating the championship elimination.”
Sulaiman: “It has been agreed. If nobody has any comments, then it’s a mandatory.”
Lewkowicz: “There’s nos second motion?”
- Deontay Wilder: “Benavidez is too big for Canelo”
- Canelo must run gauntlet for #1 p4p: Bivol, Beterbiev & Benavidez
- What’s next for Benavidez?
- “Benavidez easier fight for Canelo than Bivol” – Eddie Hearn