Canelo Labeled A Chicken For Ducking Benavidez – ‘How Are You Going To Defend This?’

February 16, 2024
3 months
Canelo Labeled A Chicken For Ducking Benavidez - 'How Are You Going To Defend This?'

Canelo Alvarez has been accused of ducking the elite-level fighters at 168. 

The Undisputed Super Middleweight Champion’s last bout was a win over Jermell Charlo. The American, however, jumped up two weight classes from 154 pounds. The fight was a one-sided win for Alvarez, given Charlo was fighting above 154 for the first time. 

After the fight, Canelo was primarily linked with David Benavidez. The Mexican Monster has been the WBC Super Middleweight Interim Champion for over a year. But reports stress Jermall Charlo and Terence Crawford are the likely fighters to take on Alvarez. 

That has not sat well with boxing fans since neither are fully-fledged 168-pound fighters. Paulie Malignaggi has been vocal about Canelo’s fights, saying avoiding Benavidez would be the biggest duck in ‘boxing history.’

Canelo Labeled A Chicken For Ducking Benavidez - 'How Are You Going To Defend This?'
Credit Mexsport

Canelo vs Benavidez

“The rumors I’m hearing is [Jermall] Charlo in May. I’m not going to get too crazy about that until I get confirmation. If it’s Charlo and Spence [for Canelo this year], I don’t know how you boycott that. If Canelo doesn’t fight Benavidez, is this the biggest duck in boxing history?

“You are a champion, and he is the bonified #1 contender, and you even got a guy like Munguia and Morrell, who are dangerous as well. You’re talking about the biggest duck in boxing history. This is in your same weight class, and you are the champion. Is Benavidez being ducked more blatantly than that? I think he is at this point,”  Malignaggi said 

Canelo’s Options

Canelo is ultimately in a position to choose who he fights. He is a four-division champion and one of the strongest commercial fighters around. If Alvarez is not intent on fighting Benavidez, two other options may appease fans in the short term. 

David Morrell Jr. is the WBA Regular Champion at 168. His record stands at 10-0, with nine knockouts. He has been linked with an Alvarez fight, but Morrell’s team accused Canelo of ducking him. That is a major risk for Canelo, given that he would face a big hitter who does nothing for his legacy. Morrell has no belt and has yet to prove himself at the highest level by fighting the other 168-pounders. 

Christian Mbilli is another option. The Frenchman is also undefeated in his 26 fights. 22 of those wins have come by knockout. After his last fight against Rohan Murdock, Mbilli expressed his desire to face Canelo. 

“I know Canelo is the best. Everyone knows that. I want to show I am the best of the division. My goal is to fight Canelo. I will do everything I can do to fight Canelo,” Mbilli stated 

Outside of that, Canelo’s options are limited. Now Malignaggi has called for the Mexican to be stripped if he does not fight the best. 

“How are you going to defend this one with David Benavidez and David Morrell Jr. in the super middleweight division? You got all four belts. How are the sanctioning bodies going to defend that? They’re not going to strip him. What are we doing?” Malignaggi revealed 

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