Caleb Plant would have to fight perfectly, according to David Benavidez, to have a chance at beating Canelo Alvarez.

Even then, Benavidez doesn’t think that the unbeaten IBF champion has the power to keep Alvarez off of him if they meet in a super middleweight title unification fight later this year. Billy Joe Saunders, on the other hand, has what Benavidez believes it’ll take to give Alvarez a very difficult fight.

“Honestly, I feel like that fight’s 50-50,” Benavidez told “Saunders is another great champion. I respect Saunders as well. He’s a tricky fighter. He’s not gonna be easy to get to, and he’s gonna make Canelo work for it. So, anything is possible. That’ll be an amazing fight.”

If Mexico’s Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) defeats Avni Yildirim in their fight February 27 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, the four-division champion is expected to encounter England’s Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) either on May 1 or May 8. An Alvarez-Saunders fight would be contested for the 30-year-old Alvarez’s WBA and WBC 168-pound crowns and Saunders’ WBO belt.

Saunders is a skillful southpaw whose boxing ability and ring IQ are among his best assets. Alvarez had varying degrees of trouble with southpaws Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout when he competed within the junior middleweight division.

Alvarez hasn’t faced a left-handed opponent since he knocked out James Kirkland in the third round of their May 2015 bout at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Turkey’s Yildirim, the mandatory challenger for Alvarez’s WBC championship, is right-handed. Like most boxers, fans and media, Benavidez anticipates Alvarez having a much easier time with Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) than he’ll have when he opposes Saunders.

“I do expect Canelo to have no problem with him,” Benavidez said. “But at the end of the day, we’re fighters and I don’t know what that man is going through or what his motivation is. Anything can happen, but I feel like Canelo will beat him pretty easy. I expect Canelo to go right through Yildirim.”

The 24-year-old Benavidez still hopes to square off against Alvarez eventually.

Losing the WBC 168-pound crown at the scale the day before his last fight – a 10th-round stoppage of Colombia’s Alexis Angulo (26-2, 22 KOs) on August 15 – temporarily eliminated Benavidez from Alvarez’s list of potential opponents. It also afforded Alvarez a chance to win that title when he defeated England’s Callum Smith (27-1, 19 KOs) by 12-round unanimous decision December 19 at Alamodome in San Antonio.

Phoenix’s Benavidez (23-0, 20 KOs) is scheduled to box Ronald Ellis (18-1-2, 12 KOs, 1 NC), of Lynn, Massachusetts, in a fight Showtime will televise March 13 from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.