Benavidez’s Light Heavyweight Ambition: A Path to Canelo?

By Sean Jones - 03/26/2024 - Comments

David Benavidez could be heading in the right direction to lure Canelo Alvarez into giving him the super fight he’s been asking for by going up to light heavyweight to knock off the top chieftain of the division in December.

If Benavidez (28-0, 24 KO) wins his WBC 175-lb title eliminator against Oleksandr Gvozdyk on June 15th, he’ll be locked in to fight the winner of the June 1st undisputed championship fight between WBA champ Dmitry Bivol and IBF/WBC/WBO unified champion Artur Beterbiev.

Beterbiev-Bivol Winner = Benavidez’s Golden Ticket

Saudi promoter Turki Al-Alshikh is reportedly interested in Benavidez fighting the winner of the Beterbiev-Bivol fight in December if he wins his fight on June 15th against former WBC 175-lb champion Gvozdyk (20-1, 16 KOs).

It’s not a 100% guarantee that Benavidez will defeat the hard-hitting, highly skilled Gvozdyk because the ‘Mexican Monster’ has put on a lot of weight since his last fight in November against Demetrius Andrade.

However, if Benavidez can trim off all the fat that has collected on his 200+ lb frame, he can get down to 175 and defeat Gvozdyk, which will put him in a position to challenge the winner of the Bivol vs. Beterbiev fight.

The Canelo Catch

Canelo is a goal-oriented fighter who wants to achieve the biggest things in the sport, and he is especially interested in capturing the world title to help cement his legacy. He likes shiny things in the form of world title belts. Alvarez has already the undisputed champion at 168, having accomplished that feat in 2021.

If Benavidez can beat Beterbiev or Bivol at 175 to become the undisputed champion, he will have the carrot he can use to lure Canelo to light heavyweight to challenge him for his belts.

It would be the missing ingredient that Benavidez lacked all these years when he called out Canelo, yet he had nothing to offer him besides a name.

Playing Hard to Get: Benavidez’s New Strategy

What’s important is that Benavidez does not start calling out Canelo after capturing the undisputed at 175 because doing so makes him appear needy and will likely make him look desperate and pathetic.

The right strategy would be for Benavidez to focus on defending the four belts against all comers at light heavyweight and wait for Canelo to take the hook. Right now, Benavidez comes across as too desperate, which is off-putting for a superstar as wealthy as Canelo. That’s not the way to be.