Hearn Dismisses Canelo Vs Charlo, Wants To See Benavidez Or Munguia Next
Canelo Alvarez’s former promoter Eddie Hearn has urged the Mexican fighter to ignore Jermall Charlo and instead face either David Benavidez or Jaime Munguia next.
Canelo (60-2-2 39 KOs) enters 2024 after an underwhelming 2023 in terms of matchmaking. The undisputed super-middleweight champion fought twice last year, securing routine points wins over John Ryder and Charlo’s twin brother Jermell. For the biggest star in the sport, neither fight really captured boxing fans’ imaginations.
The latest reports claim Canelo’s first fight of the year is likely to be against unbeaten WBC middleweight champion Charlo, with undisputed welterweight king Terence Crawford to follow.
However, Matchroom Boxing chairman Hearn, who promoted seven of Canelo’s last eight fights – including the trilogy bout with Gennadiy Golovkin and the defeat to Dmitrii Bivol – believes there are better bouts to make for the Mexican superstar.
“I don’t think Saul [Alvarez] would have a problem with any fight, my experience with him is that he will fight anybody,” Hearn told FightHype.com on the sidelines of the Conor Benn vs Peter Dobson weigh-in in Las Vegas.
“He’s also a businessman at the same time. Crawford – he’s such a great fighter so it’s definitely a fight that people are going to be intrigued with, but I think the [Jaime] Munguia fight is a great fight, I really do. And I think the [David] Benavidez is also a great fight.”
Munguia (43-0-0 34 KOs) was in action just last week when he outclassed Ryder on his way to a ninth-round technical stoppage victory. The 27-year-old Mexican is the number-one ranked challenger to Canelo’s WBO super-middleweight title and second by the WBC.
Benavidez (28-0-0 24 KOs), meanwhile, is coming off a devastating sixth-round stoppage win over Demetrius Andrade last November. The 27-year-old American holds the WBC’s interim world super-middleweight title.
Hearn Touts Berlanga
Hearn also took the opportunity to tout one of his own fighters, Edgar Berlanga. The fast-rising American (21-0-0 16 KOs) is ranked fifth by the WBO, seventh by the IBF, eighth by the WBA, and 11th by the WBC. The 26-year-old takes on unbeaten Irishman Padraig McCrory later this month and an impressive win will see him surge up the rankings, and improve his chances of securing a bout with Canelo.
“I want my man, Edgar Berlanga, to do a really good job on February 24 and scream and shout and call for that fight as well,” Hearn said. “Because then all of a sudden, if you’re Canelo Alvarez, you have options; you have Munguia, you have Berlanga, you have Benavidez, Crawford – so you have another two years secured in the schedule.
“I just don’t like the Charlo fight,” Hearn added. “It doesn’t do numbers. The fight against the other brother was a non-event, and Charlo has been out for two years.
“Benavidez-Canelo is a huge fight. So is Munguia-Canelo – that’s a really fun fight; you’ve got a young, fresh Mexican that will do everything to win against a pound-for-pound great, probably the greatest Mexican fighter of all time.”
‘Berlanga-Munguia An Incredible Fight’
When asked if he was interested in making a fight between Berlanga and Munguia, Hearn was emphatic in his response, believing it would generate a huge amount of interest in the U.S.
“Of course, that’s an incredible fight as well,” Hearn said. “Edgar’s got to make a statement on February 24, but also at the same time, that fight sells out any venue on the west coast, particularly down in San Diego.
“It also sells out Madison Square Garden. That’s a big, big fight. But both guys want Canelo. So it will take them not getting Canelo to say, ‘You know what? Let’s fight each other.’ Then the winner will get Canelo.”