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Andre Ward explains why Canelo hasn’t faced David Benavidez

Image: Andre Ward explains why Canelo hasn't faced David Benavidez

By Sean Jones: Andre Ward says David Benavidez’s high punch output is why Canelo Alvarez still hasn’t fought him. Canelo (58-2-3, 39 KOs) would be at a disadvantage against Benavidez because he doesn’t throw a lot of punches, and he would have to find a way to cut down the high output from ‘The Mexican Monster.’

What works against Canelo slowing down Benavidez’s volume punching is that he lacks the mobility to stay away from him for twelve rounds. We saw with Caleb Plant, Benavidez was able to cut off the ring on him to force him to fight last March in their PPV clash on Showtime.

If Plant couldn’t move well enough to stay away from Benavidez, Canelo won’t be able to do it either, and he’ll find himself in a phonebooth war for twelve rounds.

At this time, Canelo has no plans for fighting Benavidez. Canelo will be defending next month against John Ryder on May 6th, and if he wins that fight, he could face Dmitry Bivol in September.

The earliest we could see Canelo fighting Benavidez is in the second half of next year because he’s expected to face Edgar Berlanga in May 2024. In the meantime, Benavidez will be WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight champion David Morrell Jr in a fight that could be the toughest of his career.

It won’t be a shock if Benavidez looks to Morrell because the Cuban fighter has been looking sensational lately. If Morrell wins, we’ll see if Canelo wants to face or avoid him like many believe he’s been doing with Benavidez for years.

“Plant won a lot of those rounds. He won a lot of those early rounds,” said Andre Ward to Fighthype about David Benavidez’s fight against Caleb Plant on March 25th. “For Benavidez to weather that storm and not panic, you’ve got to give him credit for that.

“It’s a reason why Canelo hasn’t fought him. Nobody likes fighting a guy that has an output like that, especially when you’re a guy that doesn’t have a lot of output,” Ward said about Benavidez being a volume puncher that scares away potential opponents.

“Canelo is economical with his punches; he relies a lot on power, timing, and skill. He lets guy waste their energy, and then he’ll come on, and he believes his power and accuracy is going to bail him out, and it has for many, many fights.

“So nobody really wants to fight a dude like Benavidez, and you have to add in his height and his reach, and he’s not a scary fighter. He’s looking for the smoke. That’s a lot to contend with. If they fought, I know Canelo is going to come ready,  and he’s probably going to be what he needs to be in order for him to compete with Beenavidez.

“I think you’ve got to lean towards Benavidez. I don’t say you got to, but with the output, I would like to see how Canelo deals with that because Benavidez isn’t just throwing to throw. He’s got power on those punches.

“A good boxer that understands distance and range who has the conditioning and physical strength, as you saw early on with Plant, they can cut that work rate down. So Canelo is not just going to stand there. Canelo has got a great boxing mind.

“He’s going to do his thing, and he’s going to be skillful. Benavidez isn’t going to be able to get those shots off. I don’t want to say that you got to favor Beenavidez. I want to say that’s a great match-up stylistically, and I hope we get a chance to see it,” said Ward.

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