By Craig Daly: Canelo Alvarez’s promoter Eddie Hearn says he could fight David Benavidez “next year” if ‘The Mexican Monster’ defeats Caleb Plant in their fight on March 25th.
Hearn says the first two fights that the superstar Canelo (58-2-2, 39 KOs) has told him that he wants are against John Ryder on May 6th and then the rematch against Dmitry Bivol. Those are the two fights Canelo wants this year.
The Matchroom Boxing promoter Hearn said nothing about Canelo fighting a third time in 2023, so that makes it unlikely he’ll try and squeeze in the Benavidez fight this year.
Moreover, the rematch against Bivol in September is expected to be a grueling one for Canelo, one for which he could sustain a lot of punishment, and that would make it difficult for a quick turnaround to face Benavidez in December.
Canelo could fight Benavidez if he’s victorious against Plant
“Canelo is probably the most purist competitor I’ve ever met. More money than God and still gets up every day and trains like a dog,” said Eddie Hearn to K.O. Artist Sports, raving about Canelo Alvarez’s work ethic and his goodness.
“They told me to make this fight [against John Ryder] in Guadalajara, and now they want the Bivol rematch. Next year, if David Benavidez beats Caleb Plant, I think that’s a massive fight as well. Obviously, it’s down to them,” said Hearn when asked if Canelo will fight Benavidez if he beats Plant.
“Once someone starts getting those wins like that and the fight becomes massive, he has no problem. Of course, he’s always going to want the right deal. He’s a businessman as well as a fighter, but there’s no reason why he wouldn’t want to fight David Benavidez if he beats Caleb Plant. But my instructions are, ‘I want Bivol, and I want to avenge that defeat,’” said Hearn.
The only possible reasons why Canelo wouldn’t want to fight Benavidez is if he feels the outcome won’t be favorable for him, and if he loses his rematch with Bivol.
It’s reasonable to assume that if Canelo is wiped out by Bivol in a similar massacre as their first fight last year, he’s going to want to take a couple of more confidence boosters like we’re seeing here with him fighting the unheralded Ryder (32-5, 18 KOs) after he beat a worn out 40-year-old Gennadiy Golovkin last September.
It would be admirable if Canelo chose to fight Benavidez without a tune-up or two if he were to be washed by Bivol in September, but it doesn’t seem in keeping with what the Mexican star has done in the past after experiencing a loss.
“I think if Benavidez fights off emotion, which there seems to be quite a lot of in that fight, I think he might get beat because I think Caleb has a very sharp brain and is a good boxer. I do favor Benavidez in the fight,” said Hearn.
Ryder then Bivol instructions from Canelo
“He wants to win, and I respect that so much. That’s the instruction for me, which was John Ryder, and then we must avenge that defeat [against Bivol],” Hearn continued. “That fight still has work to do, but as I said, I work on instructions by my bosses, who are Saul and Eddy [Reynoso].
Again, Hearn doesn’t say what Canelo will do if he loses to Bivol in September. If Alvarez gets trounced by Bivol again, will he want to steam straight ahead into the iceberg-like Benavidez, or will he play it safe as we saw with him fighting the faded Golovkin and now Ryder?
If Canelo’s manager/trainer Eddy Reynoso is the one that is choosing his opponents, it’s hard for him to want to ruin the good thing they have going with making money hand over fist by throwing him in with Benavidez off the back of a slaughter by Bivol.