Teddy Atlas says Canelo must fight Benavidez

By Boxing News - 05/09/2023 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose: Teddy Atlas says it’s time for Canelo Alvarez to fight David Benavidez because he can’t keep fighting guys like John Ryder.

Atlas points out that Canelo (59-2-2, 39 KOs) has fought many fighters just like Ryder during his career, and he’s built his resume on them.

Canelo had said he didn’t wish to fight Mexican fighters, which was why he did not face Benavidez. He could change his mind if he receives enough pressure from fans.

That’s why Atlas says Canelo isn’t one of the “great Mexicans” because those fighters fought everybody and didn’t avoid facing quality opposition.

We know Canelo has focused on fighting a lot of fighters from the UK during the last ten years, and many of them weren’t considered the best.

Canelo’s British opponents:

John Ryder
Billy Joe Saunders
Callum Smith
Rocky Fielding
Amir Khan
Liam Smith
Ryan Rhodes
Matthew Hatton

Canelo must fight Benavidez

“He’s got to fight Benavidez. He can’t keep fighting these guys that he has built his resume, and that’s why I say he’s not one of the great Mexicans; he has built his resume on beating guys like Ryder,” said Teddy Atlas on The Fight, talking about Canelo Alvarez.

If Canelo takes a bad enough beating in his rematch with Dmitry Bivol in September, it’ll be unlikely for us to see him fight Benavidez.

He won’t want to take a tough fight with Benavidez off a bad loss to Bivol, especially if he’s knocked out or soundly beaten worse than last year.

“A lot of the Europen fighters, not all, are like Ryder. They’re at the same level of ability, which is not this level [elite], and he’s got plenty of those guys on his record, and other guys do too.  But it doesn’t allow him to be called great when you have these Mexican fighters that fought everybody.

“He’s got to fight Benavidez, and he’s going to have big problems if he just stands there with the ear muffs on for defensive purposes with Benavidez,” Atlas said about Canelo. “He got caught with a couple of shots doing that [against Ryder] with uppercuts,” said Atlas.

Alvarez needs to fix his flaws

“Ryder found him. He was hitting him with uppercuts and hit him with a few hooks from the southpaw position,” said Atlas. “If you’re going to stand stationary with the ear muffs on and you got a willing guy with talent, he’s going to hit you.

“If he’s going to do that, I would say that’s going to be a no-no to do that with Benavidez because he’d make you pay a much higher price than you paid last Saturday night against Ryder.

“I don’t want to see those fight no more, and I’m not just picking on Canelo. I say that with all these top guys. I don’t want to see them playing this musical chair stuff anymore. I want to see them with the top guys. I want to see Spence and Crawford with them and the top guys,” said Teddy.

Canelo deserves respect 

“I give Canelo credit for saying that,” Atlas said about Canelo wanting the rematch with Dmitry Bivol at 175. “He got beat there, so let him have the rematch there. Not at a lower weight class.

“It makes it more of a challenge and grab those belts, and he’s being smart in a marketing sense by getting people’s attention,” Atlas said about Bivol wanting to fight Canelo for his four super middleweight titles at 168.

“As good as Bivol is, he’s not known out there. He’s not a real marketable guy; he’s not a guy making the big money. That’s a pretty good maneuver marketing-wise to get more money and get people and get people’s attention and to put him in a different light.

“He doesn’t want to lose that O. You know how important an O is? Ask Mayweather. He’s still cashing in on it,” said Atlas.

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