Eddie Hearn sees David Benavidez, Demetrius Andrade & David Morrell as the three fighters with the best chances of beating undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez in the division.
Benavidez & Andrade would be green with envy if Morrell is the one that gets the Canelo fight before them, as they’re been campaigning for a shot against the superstar for many years.
The big three threats to Canelo at 168
- David Benavidez – The 26-year-old Benavidez is an odd bird for the 168-lb division because he’s bigger than light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol, but is somehow still able to make weight for the super middleweight division. His youth allows Benavidez to melt down huge amounts of weight that an older fighter couldn’t do
- Demetrius Andrade – Canelo would have a lot of problems with the skills, power, and size of the former two-division world champion Andrade. It would be a nightmarish opponent for Canelo because the 6’1″ Andrade won’t stand in front of him to load up on his single shots, and he wouldn’t shell up on the ropes.
- David Morrell – the power, skills, and the Sugar Ray Leonard style that Morrell uses would be a difficult puzzle for Canelo. Morrell would make for an exciting fight for Canelo because he’s not someone who is going to throw 1000 punches like Benavidez. Morrell loads up on shots as Canelo does, but he has a high variety of punches. It would be entertaining to watch Canelo & Morrell battle due to the skills and the power shots.
Of those three, Hearn feels that the 25-year-old unbeaten WBA ‘regular’ 168-lb champion Morrell (9-0, 8 KOs) is someone few would want to tangle with because of the risk-reward not being worth it.
Canelo (60-2-2, 39 KOs) would have a lot of trouble against all three of the top 168-lb fighters on Hearn’s list, but it’s questionable if he’ll bother facing any of them. He’s done a pretty good job of swerving Benavidez & Andrade all these years, so that may not change.
The four-year pro Morrell hasn’t been around long enough for him to be avoided by Canelo, but he’s also been the quietest in terms of demanding & begging for a fight.
Morrell hasn’t gotten on Canelo’s bad side by becoming an irritant by calling him nonstop the way Benavidez & Andrade have. That’s not the Cuban fighter’s style to beg or demand fights from fighters, although he did briefly call out Benavidez recently, but with no luck.
David Morrell = Canelo’s biggest threat?
“The rumblings in the boxing world is [David] Morrell is really good. We talk about earlier about Shakur Stevenson. It’s the same kind of thing. Why would you fight David Morrell?” said Eddie Hearn to Fighthype.
“I’m not an adviser or a lawyer or a manager, but if I was, I’d say, ‘If you want me to fight David Morrell, you’d better pay me an absolute fortune.’ No one knows outside of the hard, hardcore boxing who David Morrell is,” said Hearn.
Morrell is the invisible man in the 168-lb division. Although he holds the WBA ‘regular’ title, he’s rarely mentioned, and it’s as if he doesn’t exist. That’s obviously intentional because he’s a threat to Benavidez, Andrade, and Canelo.
“Therefore, the risk-reward doesn’t exist, and as much as we’d love to see that fight, even you got to to be honest and say, ‘Why would you fight Morrell?’ So, it’s down to the PBC to overpay people to fight David Morrell. That’s how boxing works,” said Hearn.
Benavidez didn’t want Morrell fight
“From the sounds of things, they wanted Benavidez to fight Morrell. Benavidez looked and went, ‘Why?’ They probably didn’t even want to fight [Demetrius] Andrade, to be honest with you,” said Hearn. “But he’s like, ‘Why would I fight Morrell? It’s not even a big fight, and he’s really good.'”
Benavidez couldn’t get away with being partially drained for a fight against the 25-year-old Morrell, because this would be a physically demanding fight like none he’s ever encountered in the professional ranks.
Ronald Gavril put Benavidez down, and Morrell would do far worse with his huge shots. There would be a lot to lose for Benavidez against a fighter like Morrell, because if he gets beat, it would end once and for all his dream of fighting Canelo.
“So the answer is, ‘Who could beat Canelo?’ I think Benavidez gives him a good fight. I just feel Demetrius at 168 can’t necessarily stand up to the firepower, but we’ll see coming up. It’s a very good fighter,” said Hearn.
“But Morrell might be overrated. You never know until Morrell is in a real fight what he’s got, either. But the rumblings are with people I really respect in boxing, say ‘This kid is special,‘” said Hearn about Morrell.
We won’t know how good Morrell is until one of the top fighters at 168 faces him. Since Canelo, Andrade & Benavidez aren’t eager to face Morrell, Hearn could help out by putting Edgar Berlanga or Diego Pacheco in with him.
Pacheco & Berlanga want a world title shot, so here’s their chance. They can fight Morrell for his WBA secondary 168-lb belt next.