Negotiations for a potential fight between Canelo Alvarez and David Benavidez have become a weighty issue. 

Alvarez is the undisputed king of the super middleweight division, and he will defend his crown once more against Jaime Munguia in an all-Mexican Cinco De Mayo weekend showdown in Las Vegas on May 4.

Munguia is certainly an appealing opponent who will help make the fight a blockbuster success, but he superseded Benavidez, Alvarez’s mandatory WBC challenger who’s been patiently waiting in the wings for several years for his well-deserved opportunity.

Offers at $55 million have been made to entertain Alvarez with a Benavidez bout beginning in 2022, and Benavidez has recently claimed to accept $5 million in return for the occasion, but dealmakers have not been able to whet the appetite of Alvarez. 

In recent weeks, Alvarez, the fifth highest-paid athlete in the world according to Forbes, has been purely big-business-minded, indicating that it would take between $150-200 million to entertain the idea of fighting Benavidez and that his rival brings nothing to the table outside of 25 extra pounds on fight night. 

The tale of the tape for a tilt between Alvarez and Benavidez favors Benavidez, who is six years younger, six inches taller, possesses four inches of longer reach, and is naturally the bigger and faster fighter who appears more explosive.  

To curb the 33-year-old Alvarez’s concerns, it was recently shared that Benavidez is open to a rehydration clause in the contract. 

Alvarez does not see any benefit in bullying Benavidez with weight stipulations. 

“Yeah, [a rehydration clause] is a lose-lose situation because, you know, after the fight, they are going to say 'it was because of this.’” Alvarez told BoxingScene in an interview on Thursday from his training camp home near Lake Tahoe, California. “And then what? And then what? Then you're going to talk about that clause. When I beat him, they are going to say it was because of the clause – nothing to do with that fight.”

Much like Ryan Garcia pointed to his 136-pound catchweight and 10-pound rehydration clause as the main reason for getting knocked out by Gervonta Davis, Alvarez believes a similar narrative will be structured should he outlast Benavidez. 

Alvarez is no stranger to weight clauses in big-time fights. 

When the still-green Alvarez fought and suffered his first career loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013, Alvarez was the WBC and WBA 154-pound champion at the time but had to fight at a 152-pound catchweight. Mayweather forced the clause after originally requesting the fight to take place at 147 pounds and 150 pounds before settling at 152 pounds. Alvarez weighed 165 pounds on the night of the fight, while Mayweather weighed in at 150 ½ pounds and fought at 150 pounds. 

Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs) has since gone on to become a four-division world champion beating a who’s who of boxing’s best along the way. He’s even considered a cruiserweight run, but the heaviest Alvarez has fought is twice at 175 pounds. 

The Guadalajara native knocked out Sergey Kovalev in 2019 to score a light heavyweight title, but he suffered a unanimous decision loss to Dmitrii Bivol in 2022.

Alvarez said he’s considering another run at 175 pounds to face the winner of the June 1 fight between Bivol and Artur Beterbiev, potentially in Saudi Arabia, the oil-rich country looking for big-time bouts in exchange for the bank-breaking paydays Alvarez is increasingly interested in. 

“There is always the possibility of having a rematch with Dmitrii Bivol. Why not? That fight – I would love to have that fight,” said Alvarez. “I’m just focused on this fight [right now with Munguia]. I’m fight by fight. But you know, if there is something interesting for me at 175 pounds, why not?”

The boxing public has been calling for Alvarez to fight Benavidez, especially since the four-division champion has beaten everyone he’s faced during his 168-pound run beginning in 2020, which has included the likes of Callum Smith, Billy Joe Saunders, Caleb Plant, Gennadiy Golovkin, John Ryder, and Jermell Charlo.

Munguia (43-0, 34 KOs) earned the Alvarez opportunity after just two fights in the weight class, most recently knocking out Ryder in January, something Alvarez couldn’t accomplish last May. 

After years of saying he wouldn’t fight a fellow Mexican, Alvarez even credited Munguia’s respect as one of the reasons that helped him earn the fight –  something the outspoken Mexican-American Benavidez has not shown. 

Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs), meanwhile, is a two-time 168-pound titleholder who’s lost his belts for faults outside of the ring and has fought in the weight class his entire 11-year career. After a banner 2023 campaign beating Demetrius Andrade and Plant, “The Mexican Monster” is now getting ready to make his 175-pound debut this summer against Alvarez’s former sparring partner and former light heavyweight titleholder Oleksandr Gvozdyk. 

With Benavidez being the most credible and lucrative option left at 168 pounds, observers are claiming Alvarez is avoiding Benavidez, especially after he floated the $200 million figure. 

“You know, I fought with any fighter and I win good my money and so I can do whatever I want at this time,” said Alvarez. “I deserve it because I did everything in my career and I deserve to be in this position. I'm going to do whatever I want.”

Although Benavidez’s next fight is at 175 pounds, he has intentions to move back down to 168 pounds. 

Benavidez is seemingly stuck chasing Alvarez's shadow every step of the way as he further validates his standing with each passing fight.

How does Alvarez respond to detractors who deem he is ducking and dodging the hard-charging Benavidez? 

“Those are not my fans. Those are my critics. And they always have something to say about me,” said Alvarez. “It was [previously] Gennadiy Golovkin. It was Miguel Cotto. And now it's Benavidez. If you see my resume, I fought with everybody. So I don't have anything to say to those people because they are never going to understand that. Because they see, but they don't want to understand. So I'm happy with what I am doing – and I am still going to do it.”

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], or via