Canelo Alvarez has never looked for the easy way out. For the 33-year-old, his main focus has always been world title chases and fighting the best fighters that are out there. However, according to some, Alvarez is eschewing his biggest challenge.
Since planting his super middleweight flag in the ground, many have viewed David Benavidez as the one fighter who could potentially knock him off his high horse. Alvarez though, has continually gone in another direction. The Mexican star has pushed away the innocuous challenges of Callum Smith, Billy Joe Saunders, and Caleb Plant - en route to becoming the division’s first undisputed champion.
To a certain extent, Alvarez is believed to be shying away from the 26-year-old. Even after recently announcing a three-fight partnership with Premier Boxing Champions, the same company that houses Benavidez, Alvarez has decided against taking him on in the first fight of his new deal. Instead, the pound-for-pound star will square off against Jermell Charlo on September 30th, with the remaining two bouts still up in the air.
For the most part, Alvarez is expected to eventually face Benavidez. But while many believe he would give Alvarez the fight of his life, Eddie Hearn is convinced that Dmitry Bivol is actually the more difficult opponent.
There’s a clear history between the pair. Alvarez brazenly made the jump to the light heavyweight division last year and attempted to strip Bivol of his WBA light heavyweight title. The mere thought of Alvarez avoiding Benavidez like the plague makes the longtime promoter incredulous. From his point of view, Benavidez is good, but he’s no Dmitry Bivol.
“He has no problem fighting Benavidez,” said Hearn to Fight Hub TV. “But what he really wants is to defeat Dmitry Bivol and he would like to steal his belt at 175 pounds. That is a much bigger challenge to him.”