By Sean Jones: Canelo Alvarez says he doesn’t know when he’ll fight David Benavidez because his focus this year is beating John Ryder on May 6th and then avenging his loss to Dmitry Bivol in September.
What’s interesting is Canelo wants the rematch with WBA light heavyweight champion Bivol at 175, just like the first fight last May, rather than at 168, like his promoter Eddie Hearn wants.
The rationale for Canelo not wanting to face Ryder at 168 may be that he could take his four titles, leaving him belt-less, and remove any excuse he previously had about his loss resulting from fighting the bigger guy on the night.
Canelo isn’t going to win too many boxing fans if he continues to swerve interim WBC super middleweight champion Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs) if he gets past Caleb Plant in their fight this month on March 25th.
Benavidez is already Canelo’s mandatory, and now he’s the WBC interim title. It’s unclear why the WBC has been dragging its feet about ordering the Canelo-Benavidez fight because Benavidez has been mandatory for a couple of years without it being called.
If Canelo vacates his WBC 168-lb title, as many boxing fans believe he’ll do, he’s never going to live it down. The only way Canelo will be able to escape criticism is if he moves up to 175 and faces Bivol and Artur Beterbiev in back-to-back fights.
It’s unrealistic for Canelo to do that because if he gets whipped by Bivol in September, it would be pointless for him to try and set up a fight with Beterbiev.
“Everyone knows the rematch with Bivol is my goal, but we’ll see. We need to pass this fight first and then start talking about the fight with Bivol,” said Canelo to Fight Hub TV when asked what his goal is for this year.
“Everyone said the same thing when I fought Bivol. You never know in boxing,” said Canelo when asked if he was going to “crush” John Ryder. “It’s supposed to be that way, but you never know. I’m going to train 100, and don’t be so confident.
“175 because I feel I need to do in that terms,” Canelo said regarding what weight he’ll fight in the rematch with Bivol. “Look, every fight is good for me and for the fans. My goal now is Bivol, and then we’ll see,” Canelo said when asked if he’ll fight David Benavidez if he emerges victorious against Caleb Plant on March 25th.
“Right now my goal now is Bivol, and then we’ll see what happens, but if the fight with Bivol doesn’t happen, then we’ll look other things. I don’t know. It’s a good fight but I think he’s [Benavidez] more strong and has good qualities. That’s why,” said Canelo when asked who wins the Benavidez vs. Plant fight.
Ryder to use his fitness to beat Canelo
“He hasn’t put too many steps wrong in this game. Obviously, the Bivol defeat and the Mayweather defeat, but these are two world elite fighters,” said John Ryder to Xicana Boxing when asked if he sees anything in Canelo’s game that he can capitalize on in their fight on May 6th.
“We’ll go back and look at tapes, work on stuff, and come up with a game plan with Tony Sims. Some May 6th, we’ll have a great game plan, and we’ll show it.
“My fitness. I’m a very fit fighter, I work at a high work rate, and I enjoy mixing it up close,” Ryder said when asked what his best assets are going into the fight with Canelo. It’s my first time in Mexico. It’s my first time in San Diego as well, so it’s been a great trip,” said Ryder.