By Dan Ambrose: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says he’d be interested in matching his fighter IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight champion Beterbiev against Canelo Alvarez or David Benavidez, assuming he successfully defeats his WBC mandatory Callum Smith on August 17th.
Arum states that he likes the idea of Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) facing Canelo or Benavidez. They would need to move up to 175 to challenge Beterbiev for his unified titles, but it would be a great fight either way.
Canelo (59-2-2, 39 KOs) could have chosen Beterbiev in the past but went in the direction of Sergey Kovalev in 2019 and Dmitry Bivol in 2022.
He knocked out Kovalev in an odd-looking fight that played out more like a gloried sparring match, with Sergey seemingly fighting at one-quarter power until getting stopped in the eleventh round.
Canelo lost to Bivol last year by a twelve round unanimous decision and then surprisingly offered him a rematch under the same terms as the first fight, which has been seen by fans to mean the Mexican star didn’t want to face him again.
Beterbiev has got to win his fight against Callum Smith in August before he can consider fighting Canelo or Benavidez.
“Absolutely. Even if he wasn’t successful, Beterbiev would love to fight Canelo or Benavidez,” said Bob Arum to Fighthype when asked if he’d be interested in matching IBF/WBC/WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev against David Benavidez.
“Once it comes out that an organization has taken a stand, which is based on principle, that they don’t want a Russian national fighting for a title, I salute that because I am completely dedicated to Ukraine and Ukrainian people, and I’m not going to do anything to affect that determination,” Arum said when asked about the WBC’s stance choosing not to sanction a fight between Dmitry Bivol and Beterbiev for their WBC 175-lb title.
“Now, if the WBC changes their mind, then we would certainly consider a full unification fight, Beterbiev, and Bivol, but Beterbiev has a real tough fight in August with this English guy Callum Smith, who’s a real good puncher and a real good fighter and let’s see after that fight. Hopefully, by then, maybe the war is over, and all this will go away.
“Benavidez is a really good fighter, and Canelo is a really good fighter,” said Arum when asked if Benavidez would beat the faded Canelo. “Benavides is the fresher guy, and that’s a terrific fight. Now who would win? I don’t know, but it’s certainly a fight that’s well worth watching.
“Not really, because neither of them fights for Top Rank, and so it’s not something that I spent a lot of time thinking about. That’s for you guys, but it’s a good fight,” said Arum, who he sees winning a fight between Canelo and Benavidez.
“I’ve watched Benavidez, and he’s a terrific fighter, and we know the
a body of work that Canelo’s had,” said Arum.