Eddie Hearn doesn’t think David Benavidez would dethrone Canelo Alvarez, but the Mexican icon’s former promoter believes Benavidez will get his much-discussed shot at Alvarez in the first fight of 2024 for both boxers.
Hearn expects Benavidez to knock out undefeated Demetrius Andrade on November 25 in Las Vegas. That impressive victory, according to Hearn, will encourage Alvarez to battle Benavidez when the undisputed super middleweight champion returns to the ring May 4.
Hearn, chairman of Matchroom Boxing, discussed Alvarez-Benavidez following a press conference Tuesday to promote the Regis Prograis-Devin Haney fight for Prograis’ WBC 140-pound title, which is scheduled for December 9 at Chase Center.
“When you look at Canelo, you now gotta look at where the real challenges are coming from, right?,” Hearn told FightHype.com. “Benavidez against Andrade, good fight. I expect Benavidez to stop Demetrius Andrade. And when he does, I think he’s gonna make a real claim to fight Canelo Alvarez.
“And I think Canelo, at that point, will take the fight. I think it will be that big that he will take it. And I don’t think he’s afraid of David Benavidez. Canelo isn’t afraid of anyone. And he will fight everybody. The deal has gotta be right, of course, but he’ll still fight them.”
Phoenix’s Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs) is consistently listed as a 4-1 favorite to beat the left-handed Andrade (32-0, 19 KOs), a former junior middleweight and middleweight champion from Providence, Rhode Island. Their 12-round fight for Benavidez’s WBC interim super middleweight title will headline a Showtime Pay-Per-View event at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas.
If, as Hearn predicted, Benavidez beats Andrade, Hearn is confident that Benavidez would put up a much more competitive, entertaining effort if he gets the opportunity to challenge Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs) for his IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO 168-pound championships.
“Too many people are too passive and disappointing against Canelo Alvarez,” Hearn said. “You know, and they’re kinda like – look at Charlo. It was almost like, you know, I was gonna say disgraceful, but I feel like that’s disrespectful to a fighter. But it was like you’re gettin’ whatever he got – $8 million, $10 million – you didn’t really try and win the fight, did you? You know? So, you need young, hungry fighters that are gonna go in. And that’s why I look at, I think Caleb Plant did really well. I thought Billy Joe Saunders did well. Like these are guys that didn’t really show any respect or fear, you know?
“And I feel like Benavidez is one of those guys. And I think Crawford would be another one of those guys. Crawford’s a winner. Crawford would do everything to try and win that fight. He’d take chances, but I think he’s too small. And I think you’re gonna get beat – Crawford’s only gonna get beat by being too small. And I think against Canelo Alvarez, you’re not talking about two divisions, like Charlo, you’re talking about three divisions. And as good as he is, and as good as his movement is, I just don’t think he beats Canelo Alvarez.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.