Following on From Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s comparatively straightforward defense of his undisputed super middleweight titles against Jermell Charlo, many people have called for him to face the much more robust challenge of David Benavidez next time out.
Before easily out-pointing Charlo and scoring a knockdown in the seventh round, Canelo brushed aside Gennadiy Golovkin and John Ryder in his previous two fights. Some people thought those performances suggested Canelo was on the slide, but after another impressive win, many now want him to face the best possible opposition in his own weight division to see how much he has left.
Unbeaten 26-year-old and 6’2″ American Benavidez is one such challenge. He has beaten the likes of Caleb Plant, David Lemieux and Anthony Dirrell and has 23 knockouts in his 27 fights so far.
One person who would like to see the fight is former world champion turned pundit Tim Bradley, who told FightHype he wants to see Canelo stepping up the quality of his opponent once more.
“If Canelo is back, let’s see more. Let’s see him step up. Benavidez is in his weight.”
On who he favours in the fight, although praising Benavidez he still believes Canelo will get the victory.
“Yes [I still favour Canelo]. Absolutely.
And I like Benavidez man, I like him as a fighter, I love his tenacity and what he brings to the table. He’s big, long, throws combinations. The volume he throws, his punching power and his speed, that can give Canelo problems because Canelo only throws a couple of shots, but he’s accurate as hell.”
Bradley thinks that to beat Canelo, Benavidez would need to be a ‘relentless dog’.
“Benavidez will will be able to let his hands go but Canelo will be hitting him over the top with bombs, now if Benavidez can take [the big shots] he has a chance.
He has to keep coming forward and be that relentless dog. If you can push Canelo past that pace he don’t know what to do. You gotta put punch him and beat him in the power punch department, you can’t win it with jabs.”
Alongside a potential rematch to try and avenge his loss to light heavyweight champion Dimitri Bivol, a fight with Benavidez would represent a high-level match up for Canelo but one that a former world heavyweight champion thinks he would lose.