By Vince D’Writer: Undisputed super-middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs) has been the face of boxing and a fixture on the pound-for-pound list for a significant amount of time, but now his name is being mentioned in a category that’s an unflattering classification.
Throughout his career, Canelo has been known as a fighter who will answer any challenge. Alvarez has an impeccable boxing resume, but recently, boxing legends, boxing pundits, and boxing fans want the undisputed champion to face a particular highly ranked contender, but for some unknown reason, Canelo refuses to commit to fighting this person.
Due to Alvarez giving the appearance of not wanting to fight this potential opponent, most boxing fans who aren’t hardcore Canelo fans are placing the undisputed super-middleweight champion in the “Duck” category. Initially, it was speculation, but now it’s becoming painfully obvious that Canelo is purposely trying to avoid this particular opponent.
David Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs) is a two-time WBC super-middleweight champion. He defeated Ronald Gavril back in September 2017 and won the vacant WBC super-middleweight title. A year later, Benavidez was stripped of his title due to a positive test for cocaine.
He would bounce back and win the WBC strap for a second time in September 2019 when he defeated Anthony Dirrell by way of 9th round stoppage. Eleven months later, Benavidez would get stripped once again because he came in over the weight limit for his bout against Roamer Alexis Angulo.
Currently, David Benavidez is the WBC Interim super-middleweight titlist. He has been calling out Canelo for a significant amount of time, but the undisputed super-middleweight champion refuses to accept the challenge.
After defeating Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin in their trilogy fight back in September 2022, Canelo Alvarez had a memorable moment at his post-fight press conference when he responded to a media member who spoke about David Benavidez.
“Guys, always I say this, you show that video and put whatever you want. When I say I don’t want to fight Mexicans is because I represent Mexico, and that’s why, but I don’t care. I fight anybody my entire life. Whether you think I don’t want to fight with one Mexican Benavidez, but look, I hear his dad talking a lot of sh*t, but look, he’s accomplished nothing, one single champion Anthony Dirrell.”
Four months after saying the undefeated former two-time WBC super-middleweight world champion David Benavidez hasn’t accomplished anything, Canelo goes on to agree to a match with John Ryder, a man who’s never won a world title and going into the bout with Canelo, Ryder already had five losses on his resume.
It was a puzzling move considering Canelo’s previous statement, but nevertheless, while Canelo was preparing for John Ryder, the WBC Interim titlist David Benavidez was stepping inside the ring to face the number one contender Caleb Plant.
Back in November 2022, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman ordered the Benavidez vs. Plant winner to face Canelo as the mandatory challenger. Then in March 2023, David Benavidez defeated Caleb Plant by way of unanimous decision.
On May 6th, Canelo did what was expected, as he scored a unanimous decision victory over John Ryder. Fans were anticipating the epic clash between Alvarez, and Benavidez would be next, especially when Canelo made a surprise move by ending his fight agreement with DAZN and signing a three-fight deal with PBC (Premier Boxing Champions).
David Benavidez is under the same promotional company, so it seemed as if the Canelo vs. Benavidez clash would finally happen, but in another surprise move, Canelo Alvarez decided to bypass Benavidez and sign on to face the 154-pound undisputed world champion Jermell Charlo.
Jermell Charlo is a great fighter, but in the interest of fairness, how can a man who campaigns at 154 leapfrog David Benavidez and receive the opportunity to fight for the 168-pound undisputed crown? After this matchup was announced, the general public started having doubts in regards to a Canelo vs. Benavidez match being a part of the three-fight package.
In the past, when asked about a potential bout with Benavidez, Canelo consistently gave the brief response of “We’ll see.” This past weekend while participating in the ACC Celebrity Golf Tournament in Lake Tahoe, Alvarez was once again asked about fighting Benavidez, and he responded by saying, “Yeah, why not. Maybe in the future.”
During an interview with Broadway Joel, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman was asked when will the mandatory match between Canelo and Benavidez be enforced, and Sulaiman responded by saying, “Benavidez defeated Plant in March of this year, so his date for mandatory position is March 2024.”
Mauricio Sulaiman is saying March 2024 now, but we all know how Sulaiman has no issues when it comes to moving the goalpost for Canelo. Fight fans, boxing legends, and boxing pundits are hopeful in regards to a bout with Benavidez being included in Canelo’s 3-fight deal.
In the meantime, David Benavidez is sitting on the sidelines with his 168-pound WBC Interim title and his pair of eliminator wins, while the 154-pound undisputed champion who has never competed at 168 gets his shot at the undisputed super-middleweight crown.
With everything that has transpired, is it possible for everyone to agree that if Canelo doesn’t fight David Benavidez during his 3-fight deal with PBC, can we all finally agree that Canelo is a Duck?