Canelo vs. Benavidez Now Front-Runner After Crawford Snub

By Dan Ambrose - 02/16/2024 - Comments

David Benavidez’s chances of being Canelo Alvarez’s next opponent have shot up after the Mexican superstar dismissed the possibility of him defending his undisputed super middleweight championship against Terence Crawford on May 4th.

Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) is Canelo’s WBC mandatory at 168 and is considered the biggest fight for him financially. There’s money to be made for PBC, who are paying Canelo a boatload of dough for his May 4th clash, making it important that he choose a viable opponent that will bring in the cash for them to get a return on their sizable investment.

Has Benavidez Burned his Bridges?

Of course, that doesn’t mean Canelo will choose to face Benavidez, considering he and his dad, Jose Sr., have been complaining to the media a lot about them not getting the opportunity to face Alvarez.

Also, Benavidez is viewed by some as a textbook weight bully, a cruiserweight who kills himself to boil down to 168, with hopes of getting a monstrous payday against Canelo.

Fighting smaller guys like Canelo is a more appealing option for Benavidez than risking his hide facing guys his own size at cruiserweight, like Jai Opetaia, and having him punch holes through him.

Canelo’s Limited Options

If Canelo is annoyed by Benavidez, he’ll choose someone else for his May 4th fight, but his options are limited, given that he’s already said he’ll be fighting an American next.

Fighters previously thought to be options for Canelo’s May 4th fight

  • Terence Crawford: Dismissed due to his lack of size
  • Jermall Charlo: His comment this week on social media about a lack of communication from his management suggests he’s not an option for Canelo.
  • Jaime Munguia: He’s Mexican, and Canelo said he’s not fighting anyone from Mexico on May 4th.

Canelo (60-2-2, 39 KOs) already said this week that he won’t be fighting a Mexican fighter next, eliminating Jaime Munguia as an option.

The other fighter who was believed to be a possibility for Canelo’s next fight, Jermall Charlo, informed the media on Instagram this week that he’s not spoken to his manager, Al Haymon, since his last fight, and there hasn’t been any contact about a match against Alvarez.

“I have everything to lose and nothing to gain because if I win, they’ll say, ‘Oh, he was too small,” said Canelo to BoxAzteca, shutting down the possibility of a fight between him and welterweight Terence Crawford.