If Canelo Alvarez chooses someone other than David Benavidez for his next fight, Benavidez isn’t sure who will want to face him in his first appearance of 2022.
Benavidez demonstratively told Showtime’s Jim Gray on Saturday night that he doubts if Jermall Charlo would be willing to take that risk. The unbeaten Benavidez isn’t sure what Alvarez is thinking, either, yet he hopes that the Mexican superstar grants him an opportunity to become boxing’s undisputed super middleweight champion in his next fight.
“I mean, I think it’s an easy question [to answer],” Benavidez told Gray after stopping Kyrone Davis in the seventh round. “I think everybody wants to see me against Canelo, right?”
Gray asked Benavidez (25-0, 22 KOs) how he thought Alvarez would view his dominant performance against a brave Davis (16-3-1, 6 KOs), whom Benavidez dominated until Davis’ trainer, BoxingScene.com contributor Stephen “Breadman” Edwards, threw in the towel during the seventh round.
“I don’t know,” Benavidez said. “I don’t really care what his assessment is, but you know, they keep putting these contenders in front of me. You know, my last fight was a WBC title eliminator [against Ronald Ellis]. That’s why I’m here holding my belts. You know, they need to give me the opportunity. You know, I’ll go through anybody, whoever they want me to go through. Does big Charlo wanna get it, too?”
When Gray followed up by wondering if Jermall Charlo could be next for him, if not Alvarez, Benavidez replied, “He don’t wanna get in the ring with me because he’s a p-ssy! That’s why.”
Charlo hasn’t shown legitimate interest in battling Benavidez in what would be a fascinating fight that would require the WBC middleweight champion to move up from the 160-pound division to the super middleweight limit of 168 pounds.
From a business perspective, Charlo also is a candidate to challenge Alvarez when the four-division champion returns to the ring, thus agreeing to a fight versus Benavidez without knowing if the career-high payday for facing Alvarez is available wouldn’t make much sense. Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) stated following his 11th-round knockout of Caleb Plant (21-1, 12 KOs) a week earlier that he will reconvene with his team sometime in January to determine his next move.
The 31-year-old Alvarez told Showtime’s Brian Custer during a recent episode of his podcast that he would prefer to fight Charlo over Benavidez. The younger, bigger Benavidez stands 6-feet-2, about six inches taller than Alvarez, has shown a granite chin and is known for relentlessly pressuring opponents and breaking them down on his way to technical-knockout victories.
Charlo, also 31, stands approximately four inches taller than Alvarez, who owns the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO 168-pound championships. Houston’s Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) doesn’t have a fight scheduled and presumably will simply wait a couple months to learn what Alvarez will do next.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.