Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez likes legacy in the sport – that much is clear – and he’s proved it by moving around in weight and trying to achieve as many belts as he possibly can.
Recently, the Mexican has fallen short at light heavyweight. Although back in 2019 he moved up to the 175 division and beat Sergey Kovalev for the WBO world title, it was well known that the Russian had seen better days. It ended in stoppage for Canelo.
In 2022, his step back onto the scene to face a prime Dmitry Bivol was different. The Mexican was comprehensively outboxed by the bigger man, and moved back down to 168lb with his tail between his legs.
A fight in that super middleweight division with David Benavidez – next facing former Canelo for, Caleb Plant – has been one fans and Benavidez himself have called for, and even said Canelo is ducking.
Eddie Hearn, who currently promotes the champion, told the DAZN Boxing Show that Canelo would never duck that fight – or any other.
“Never have I got the impression – never have I even doubted – that there is one fighter that he wouldn’t fight. I feel like because of what Canelo’s given to the sport and because of the risks he’s taken, because of the fight’s he’s been involved with, I think he genuinely wants these champions to do the same and go down the same route. People like David Benavidez, for me, needs to make a statement to make a fight.”
So ambitious is his fighter, he would even go one further than light heavyweight and face one of the best cruiserweights of modern day and perhaps history – Oleksandr Usyk – now unified heavyweight champion of the world.
“Everything is ‘no problem, no problem.’ After Usyk beat AJ, you know, I was kind of joking with him – ‘no problem, I’ll fight Usyk.’ Whether you think he’s made or you think he has a chance, with all due respect he would genuinely fight Usyk at cruiserweight. He fought Bivol at 175. He would have no problem fighting Benavidez at 160.”
There has been whisperings of a fight between two of the biggest stars in the sport, but fans brushed them off as unrealistic, and perhaps that will turn out to be the case.
Having said that, if Canelo is up for it, and Usyk has, in the past, confirmed he would take part as a sort of ‘freak fight’, then stranger things have happened in the sport of boxing.