David Benavidez Jr. cruised through his fights in 2023, scoring a sixth-round stoppage against Demetrius Andrade in November and a unanimous decision against Caleb Plant in March.

The pair of performances left the boxing public clamoring for a fight against undisputed super middleweight king Canelo Alvarez even more. 

Alvarez, however, has other ideas on who he wants to face next in 2024, as Jaime Munguia and Edgar Berlanga are increasingly moving up the leaderboard as his potential next two opponents. 

Benavidez has already started looking elsewhere for his return bout. 

The two-time 168-pound titleholder is now considering a move up to light heavyweight to face former 175-pound beltholder Oleksandr Gvozdyk (20-1, 16 KOs).

Once Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) returns to super middleweight, his father and trainer Jose Benavidez Sr. would welcome a showdown against undefeated the Canada-based, Cameroonian-French contender Christian Mbilli (26-0, 22 KOs). 

Benavidez Sr. even billed the 28-year-old Mbilli with the same moniker as his son’s when discussing the potential matchup. 

“Mbili, that f***ing guy is a monster. He’s an animal, too,” said Benavidez Sr. “He looked great in his last fight [against Rohan Murdock in January]. That's another guy we'd like to fight. That’s a dangerous fighter right there. I consider him more dangerous than [David] Morrell. He has more experience and has climbed the ladder on his own. He has proven himself.”

Benavidez has long maintained that he won’t be waiting around to cash in on a ticket to fight Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs). 

He also wants to be in the mix to face the likes of Munguia and Berlanga.

“[David] looked spectacular in his two fights in 2023,” said Benavidez Sr. “With those two fights he proved that he does have talent and his IQ is good. He’s a monster. I’m super happy where we’re at. If the fight with Canelo happens, good. If not, we have to stay active. We have to keep proving and the opportunity will come sooner or later.”

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 X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.