Canelo Alvarez is the clear-cut boss of the super middleweight division. The shiny world titles that are draped over his shoulders are one component of that statement but more than anything, whenever he enters the ring, he draws eyeballs. This year, however, has been up and down for the pound-for-pound star.

His 2023 started off with a listless performance against John Ryder. Sure Alvarez won practically every round, but he didn’t look like his dominant self. A few months later, the 33-year-old looked incredibly sharp against Jermell Charlo.

Essentially no one else at 168-pounds has an argument to be viewed as the division’s best when basing the discussion on merit and accolades. But, according to Paulie Malignaggi, there are two 168-pounders that he would take over Alvarez right now.

A pair of David’s have what it takes to knock Alvarez off his high horse from Malignaggi’s point of view. Both David Morrell and David Benavidez have dominated practically everyone that’s stood across the ring from them.

In the case of Morrell, the 25-year-old Cuban stopped Yamaguchi Falcao and Sena Agbeko. Benavidez, on the other hand, took out far more recognizable names. With wins over Caleb Plant and Demetrius Andrade, Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) believes he’s on the doorstep of an Alvarez fight. As long as he continues to win, he’s convinced that Alvarez will have no choice but to face him.

Fighting both fighters might placate the wishes of fans, but Malignaggi simply doesn’t see it happening. By and large, Alvarez moves to the beat of his own drum. Meaning, the waiting game that Morrell (10-0, 9 KOs) and Benavidez are currently playing, won’t lead to the outcome they're hoping for.

“Morrell is so good that I don’t think Canelo wants any parts of him either,” Malignaggi told ProBox TV. “I don't think Canelo wants any part of either of them.”