Teddy Atlas Insists Canelo Must Fight Benavidez To Earn Title Of Greatest Mexican Boxer

December 2, 2023
3 months
Teddy Atlas Insists Canelo Must Fight Benavidez To Earn Title Of Greatest Mexican Boxer

Canelo Alvarez must fight David Benavidez to go down as an all-time great Mexican fighter.

That is according to Teddy Atlas. The current undisputed super middleweight champion kept his titles with a one-sided win over Jermell Charlo in his last fight. Following the win, Alvarez made it clear that he was back to his best following his hand injury and the loss to Dmitry Bivol. And in doing so, Alvarez expressed that ‘nobody’ could beat him when he was on this form.

This naturally led to calls for him to fight Benavidez. The latter is the current WBC interim champion at 168, a position he has had for around two years. And wins over Caleb Plant, the former IBF champion and now Demetrius Andrade, have put the fighter in a position to fight Alvarez.

Although that may be the case, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman has expressed that there is no desire to rush the mandatory. And yet, with Cinco De Mayo Weekend and Mexican Independence Day available next year as fight dates, the time appears ripe for the mega fight. And for Atlas, he was clear that Canelo had to take the fight for his legacy.

Atlas On Canelo

“If Canelo is gonna be called one of the greatest Mexicans and the top 168 pounder and accept those accolades, then he has to fight Benavidez,. He has to fight Benavidez to justify that. He has to. He can’t just walk forward the way he did with Andrade. The punches that will land on him will have more consequence, they will have more impact,” Atlas said 

Despite this being the case, trainer Joe Diaz did not see the fight happening. The former made the comparison to when Alvarez faced Dmitry Bivol. The latter comprehensively outboxed the Mexican at 175 to retain his WBA belt. The attempts at creating the rematch failed.

The primary reason was that Bivol wanted the fight at 168 to target Canelo’s undisputed title. However, Alvarez wanted to run things back at 175. And given that Alvarez was reluctant to put all of his belts on the line against a dangerous fighter, he expects the same when it comes to Benavidez.

Diaz On Canelo

“Canelo is a strong fighter, but when he fought John Ryder, he didn’t look too good because Ryder was an opponent for six or seven rounds. Facing a David Benavidez who keeps coming, strong, and big, it’s going to be tough for Canelo to give Benavidez the opportunity. 

“For example, Dmitry Bivol. After the Bivol fight, we were expecting Canelo to say, ‘As a Mexican that I am, let’s run it back. Let’s do it again and prove to the people that I can beat this guy,’ but he never did. What he did was he went around and cut corners. He avoided to this day. He keeps avoiding Dmitry Bivol. Well, it’s understandable, right? he knows he can’t beat him. At 168 or 175, he will not beat Dmitry Bivol, so he’s the last one on his list,” Diaz stated

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