Chavez Sr. Defends Canelo’s Choices, While Evaluating Future Challengers

By Dan Ambrose - 02/19/2024 - Comments

Boxing legend July Cesar Chavez Sr. supports Canelo Alvarez for whoever he chooses for his next title defense of his undisputed super middleweight championship on May 4th on the Cinco de Mayo holiday.

Chavez doesn’t believe that the Mexican superstar Canelo (60-2-2, 39 KOs) is avoiding his WBC mandatory David Benavidez, and he feels that the fight will happen in time at some point.

Canelo has already ruled out Benavidez for his May 4th fight, Jaime Munguia and Terence Crawford. That leaves these fighters:

  • Edgar Berlanga
  • David Morrell
  • Padraig McCrory
  • Christian MBilli
  • Diego Pacheco

When Canelo does face Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs), Chavez believes it’ll be a tough fight for him due to David’s size and strength in the 168-lb division.

Chavez said nothing about why Benavidez isn’t taking risks with his career by facing David Morrell, Artur Beterbiev, Jai Opetaia, or Dmitry Bivol.

There’s a belief that Benavidez is fighting outside of his natural weight division, light heavyweight or cruiserweight, just looking to take advantage of his size and try and get a big payday or two fighting Canelo before moving up where he belongs.

Benavidez Speculation Continues

“Whoever it is going to be is a good opponent for Saul,” said Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. to the media when asked who Canelo Alvarez is going to be fighting on May 4th. “Well, I don’t know if he’s running from Benavidez. He doesn’t run from any fighter.

“They’re just stages. Sooner or later, they’re going to fight with Benavidez, and it’s a fight that everybody wants to see. But it’s not up to me. It’s up to Saul. What Canelo has done is incredible. The truth is, I can’t speak badly of Canelo because he’s been very respectful towards me.

“He’s earned everything he’s gotten fairly. He has the right to fight whoever he wants. In other words, it’s up to the organizations to decide to adjust it if they want if there’s an official challenger as they are required to, but everything depends on him.

Munguia: Needs Refinement

“Well, Munguia is an up-and-coming fighter. In his last fight, he proved that he’s fit to take on Canelo. I’d like to see him engage in one or two more fights at 168 to truly recognize his potential.

“John Ryder, I think he’s a really course fighter. Honestly, a bad fighter but strong. I believe he [Munguia] needs to do two more fights and then move on to fight the big guys.

“Yes, but it’s tough for Munguia,” said Chavez Sr. when asked about his thoughts on a fight between Munguia and Benavidez. “Benavidez is a really tall fighter and quite strong for this division [super middleweight], which is a fight that is going to be difficult even for Canelo. It’s very tough.”

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