Following a win in his third fight against Gennady Golovkin, Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez’ has demanded respect from the boxing world for never turning down a challenge.
The comments come following the Undisputed Super Middleweight Champion’s recent response to a question about facing Mexican, Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez. Canelo said that he had no interest in facing him because they both represent the same country.
Ramirez is a former super middleweight champion, and has a shot now for the WBA Light Heavyweight belt against Dmitry Bivol – the man who recently beat Canelo.
It’s no secret that Canelo is targeting a rematch with Bivol, in fact he said so himself in the wake of his victory against Golovkin last night. His plans seem to be more based on redemption rather than titles this time around, but what does happen should Bivol lose to Ramirez?
When asked again about facing his countrymen during his post-fight press conference, Álvarez had no time for it, referencing another name in David Benavidez – also known as ‘The Mexican Monster.’
“Anything can happen.”
“When I say I don’t want to fight Mexicans, it’s because I represent Mexico – and that’s why. But I don’t care. I’ll fight anybody. My entire life, anybody. What do you think I don’t want to fight with one Mexican or Benavidez? I hear his dad talking a lot of sh*t. Look what he’s accomplished – nothing. [He has beat] one single champion, Anthony Dirrell. Please. Don’t disrespect [me].”
If he wasn’t keen on fighting Benavidez before, the public back and forth may change things. It’s easy to see the beginnings of a build-up here. Benavidez also happens to be the WBC’s Super Middleweight Interim Champion, so there may come a time that Canelo doesn’t have a choice in facing him.
For now, Álvarez is due some time out of the ring, and an injury to his left hand that requires surgery could keep him away until May of 2023.
Bivol and Ramirez face off on November 5 this year. It’s unclear if and how Canelo’s plans will change should Ramirez come out victorious.
As for Benavidez, his last outing was a spectacular performance against David Lemieux in May of this year. He’s already a two-time super middleweight champion, and will be keen to have a crack at making that three. Many fans of the sport believe it’s this fight that would be Canelo’s biggest test at this stage of his career.
Canelo has form for getting impatient with people saying he’s avoiding them – once famously accusing Demetrius Andrade of only being interested in a pay day.
Finally, he was asked if he would prefer the likes of Benavidez and others who may want to face him to fight amongst themselves in the meantime. His answer was straight to the point:
“They can do whatever they want. I’m not bothered who they fight. I don’t f***ing care.”
After that question, Canelo ended the press conference because he was ‘a little mad and tired.’ Before exiting, he thanked the media.