David Benavidez Throws in the Towel on Canelo Dream

By Dan Ambrose - 04/04/2024 - Comments

David Benavidez has finally given up his chase for a fight against Canelo Alvarez, saying he will never get the chance to face the superstar. Benavidez says he will “move on” and target the light heavyweight “killers.”

Canelo Pursuit: A Long Time Coming

Benavidez should have thrown in the towel a long time ago with his pursuit of Canelo because it was obvious as early as 2021 that he’d never get that match.

“I don’t think that Canelo fight is going to happen, so I’ve got to move on. These guys at 175 lbs are some killers. Now my mind is 100% focused on them,” said Benavidez to the FreshAndFit YouTube channel.

Without Benavidez’s huge size advantage that he’s been accustomed to, he may not find success at 175 against the talented fighters, Artur Beterbiev, Dmitry Bivol and Oleksandr Gvozdyk. If Benavidez can’t hang with opposition his size, he may need to return to 168.

Saudi Money and the 175-Pound Move

It’s believed that Benavidez is moving up to 175 because of the Saudi money he can earn fighting the winner of the Beterbiev vs. Bivol undisputed light heavyweight championship.

This summer, Benavidez is fighting Oleksandr Gvozdyk in a WBC 175-lb title eliminator on June 22nd on the Gervonta Davis vs. Frank Martin undercard on Amazon Prime Video PPV in Houston.

Fans feel that Benavidez needs to do more than just fighting once at 175 against 37-year-old Gvozdyk to get a crack at the winner of the Beterbiev vs. Bivol fight.

Ideally, Benavidez should have to get three or four fights under his belt against top contenders to earn the right to fight the winner of the Beterbiev-Bivol fight for the undisputed championship, rather than having it given to him after beating Gvozdyk, who recently came out of retirement after four years out of the ring.

A Questionable Return to Super Middleweight

Benavidez has said they’ll return to 168 after going up to 175, but why he would is unclear. If he’s truly thrown in the towel with his goal of landing a lucrative fight against Canelo, why return to 168?

When you take Canelo out of the equation, the only well-paying fights for Benavidez at super middleweight are Jaime Munguia and Jermall Charlo. He already beat Caleb Plant in a one-sided fight, so a rematch wouldn’t make sense.