The father-and-son tandem of knockout artist David Benavidez and trainer Jose Benavidez Sr. have long been pounding the table for a shot to fight undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs) has mostly appeared disinterested in accepting a challenge from Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs), going as far as saying his preference is to not face fellow Mexican fighters, and that two-time 168-pound champion Benavidez has not accomplished much throughout his career to warrant a shot.
Before Alvarez agreed to fight Dmitry Bivol last May in what ultimately resulted in a losing effort, he declined a $55 million offer from TGB Promotions to fight Benavidez.
After much back and forth banter, Benavidez Sr. is now changing his stance around the prospects of a potential fight down the road versus Alvarez – and he’s throwing a series of parting shots at Canelo while doing so.
“I consider [Alvarez] – with all due respect – done as a fighter,” Jose Sr. told IZQUIERDAZO. “He is worn out. First, we saw him with a knee injury, and now he injured [and eventually got surgery on] his [left] hand. Now, we can see that Canelo is starting to drink. He is starting to enjoy life, and he has all the right to do that, because he has been a very disciplined fighter. I think that he has many businesses now, and is not focused 100% on boxing. Now, he is playing golf, a sport that needs a lot of time and dedication. My opinion is that Canelo should stay at golf, and start a career there. I have heard that he is very good at golf, and there is no age limit to play that sport.
“Canelo has given everything he could against elite opposition. Now he only has to look for fighters like John Ryder or Edgar Berlanga. He is no longer at the level to challenge elite rivals. He is in the position to fight rivals that don't pose any threat for him. He used to say that David Benavidez didn’t bring anything to the table for him. That David Benavidez didn’t deserve the fight. That David hasn’t fought anybody. But just tell me – with whom did Avni Yildirim fight? Against whom did Ryder fight?
“I have bad news to everybody – there will not be a fight between David Benavidez and Canelo. Forget about that fight, we have other horizons. We have a contract for three fights with David Morell, Jermall Charlo, and Demetrius Andrade. Those are very good fights – names that Canelo Alvarez didn’t want to fight. So, we are going to fight with them to show who we are.
“Maybe next year, David’s body might change. And we are ready to go to 175 and we can fight Bivol. We would get revenge for Canelo. Bivol is a dangerous fighter, and it would be an honor for us to have revenge for Mexico. I think Bivol and Artur Beterbiev are willing to fight anybody. They are not looking for easy fighters. They don’t ask to put clauses. They don’t demand that much. They are true fighters that really want to fight any rival.”
The 32-year-old Alvarez’s plans for the immediate feature do not involve Benavidez.
The Mexican star is next slated to return to the ring in a homecoming fight in Jalisco on May 6 against John Ryder.
In September, he’s eyeing a rematch against Bivol.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.
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