Canelo Narrows the Field: Benavidez and Crawford Out for May 4th Fight

By Robbie Bannatyne - 02/16/2024 - Comments

Canelo Alvarez eliminated potential opponents today for his next fight on May 4th, with David Benavidez and Terence Crawford being dismissed as options for his Cinco de Mayo clash.

Benavidez’s promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz, was pretty upset about his fighter not getting the fight with Canelo, but that’s how it goes. Fans knew that Canelo wouldn’t fight Benavidez, but it looks like he and his promoter didn’t want to accept the reality of the situation until today.

So, Who’s Left?

With him and Crawford out of the running for Canelo’s fight on May 4th, it leaves these fighters as potential options:

  • Christian Mbilli [France]
  • David Morrell Jr [Cuba]
  • Edgar Berlanga: The unbeaten Eddie Hearn-promoted Berlanga (21-0, 16 KOs) has a fight against Padraig McCrory this month on February 24th.
  • William Scull [Cuba]

Canelo said he was going to fight an American, so Morrell, Scull, and Mbilli would have to be ruled out as well unless Alvarez is confused about them not being from the U.S.

The options at light heavyweight aren’t great, as the two top guys, Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol, are fighting this summer. Other than them, there’s no one well-known enough to U.S. boxing fans for Canelo to pick them.

Potential Misconception or Change of Heart?

Could Canelo have changed his mind about only wanting to fight an American next? That’s only thing that makes sense unless he’s totally confused about which country his potential opponent is from.

If Canelo isn’t going to fight any of those guys, it really limits his options dramatically. He can’t fight Diego Pacheco because he has an April 6th fight scheduled against Shawn McCalman.

Normally, a fighter would want to choose and announce an opponent as fast as possible, but in Canelo’s case, he’s popular enough to wait until the last minute to pick someone out. His boxing fans will still want to see him fight, even if he waits a couple of weeks before the May 4th date.

It’s obviously not good for PBC and Amazon Prime if Canelo chooses to delay his choice of opponent. PBC is paying Canelo a lot of money, and they would want him to pick a big name, like Benavidez or Crawford, and announce the fight right away.