By Dan Ambrose: David Benavidez wants undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez stripped of his WBC belt if he refuses to fight him next if he’s victorious against Demetrius Andrade on November 25th.
(Photo credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME®)
Given how fond the WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman is of Canelo, he probably won’t strip him or order him to defend against mandatory Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs). Canelo is a popular fighter that brings in a lot of money for his fights.
More likely the case, they’ll give Canelo a ‘Champion in Recess’ tag as they did with Devin Haney at lightweight when he chose not to defend against his mandatory Shakur Stevenson.
It’s still too early for the 26-year-old Benavidez to be talking about fighting Canelo because he still has the formidable task of defending his WBC interim 168-lb title against former two-division world champion Andrade (32-0, 19 KOs) on November 25th on Showtime PPV at the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.
Benavidez confirmed on Thursday that his older brother Jose Benavidez Jr. will be fighting unbeaten Jermall Charlo in the co-feature fight. This fight potentially could be better than the main event if Jermall brings his A-game.
He hasn’t fought in two and a half years, so it’s possible that he’ll be ring-rusty and could gas out early if he fails to knock out Benavidez Jr.
Benavidez wants Canelo stripped
“The past two years and I’ve been doing my job, I’ve been doing my thing. That’s what happens when you’re number one contender,” said Benavidez to the media during the kickoff press conference with Andrade on Thursday.
“You fight for the belt, so I think they [WBC] should do the right thing, and if he [Canelo Alvarez] doesn’t want to fight, strip him with a title, but like I said, I want to make my own lane,” Benavidez continued.
Canelo (60-2-2, 39 KOs) hasn’t made a defense of his WBC 168-lb title for two solid years since 2021, and the belt is supposed to be defended annually.
WBC reportedly has given Canelo until May 2024 to defend his belt against the Benavidez-Andrade winner, which could mean the title will be vacated.
Those are two fighters who check all the boxes for having the type of ability that Canelo has avoided his entire career.
The WBC hasn’t said anything about potentially stripping Canelo if he fails to defend it against the winner of the Benavidez vs. Andrade fight.
Obviously, the WBC has royally dropped the ball by not ordering Canelo to defend it for two years, but again, they like him a lot.
“I don’t want to just be that fighter waiting for Canelo. As I’m doing now, I fought Caleb Plant, and now I’m fighting Demetrius. I want to make my own lane. I’m very excited,” said Benavidez.
Andrade has a lot of tricks
“Like I said, these are the type of fights I want. These are the type of fights that motivates me,” said Benavidez. “Demetrius Andrade is a slick fighter. He has a lot of tricks in his bag, but like I said, he’s going to bring the best out of me, and I’ve been working extremely hard for this camp like I do for all my camps.”
Andrade is a very slick fighter southpaw stance, and he’s a huge puncher. Benavidez’s primitive approach to his fights is going to result in him getting hit a lot.
Benavidez’s chin hasn’t betrayed him yet, but he’s not been hit squarely by a big puncher. Ronald Gavril had him hurt in their first fight in 2017 but couldn’t put him away. He’s not a big puncher like Andrade.
“I’m ready to go in there. The last event [against Caleb Plant] was huge. So, I’m looking forward to having another massive pay-per-view event. I think the most complete now, you can’t take away from anything that he’s done, is Canelo. He’s obviously the more dangerous fighter.
“He has more knockouts, and he’s been in this weight class longer. So I feel like he’s a complete fighter, but that doesn’t take anything away from Andrade because he’s been ducked for so long. So we haven’t even seen the best of him, but I’m preparing for the best Demetrius Andrade,” said Andrade.
Benavidez knows what he’s up against
“I know what’s I know what’s at the table, I know what I’m getting ready for,” continued Benavidez. “He moves around a lot, he throws a lot of good combinations, throws good uppercuts, and throws good looping overhand lefts.”
Andrade is a talented fighter with a lot of experience in the amateurs and pro ranks and a style that could potentially give Benavidez fits.
What could work against Andrade winning is the weak opposition he’s fought in recent years because he’s been facing lower-level fighters for a long time.
Andrade’s last six opponents:
- Demond Nicholson
- Jason Quigley
- Luke Keeler
- Maciej Sulecki
- Artur Akavov
- Walter Kautondokwa
“So yeah, I’ve been studying him a lot. I can’t really say nothing about that,” said Benavidez. “If that’s what he wants to do, then that’s what he’s going to do. Canelo is the man. He does anything he wants to do,” said Benavidez when told that Terence Crawford wants to fight Canelo next.
“I don’t think what people say affects him, but I feel like people want to see David Benavidez vs. Canelo Alvarez. It’s the biggest fight to make happen, and I feel like I’m the I’m the biggest threat to him.
“People just talk s**t. They don’t even know anything at all,” said Benavidez when told that there’s a rumor out there that he’s 60 lbs overweight. We know what social media is, we know what people do. I don’t even care about what people say. You see me now. Do I look 60 lb overweight?
I’m very comfortable, I’m very happy, and I’m very excited about this. It’s happening, and I’m telling you guys, right now, this is the biggest upset probably the past five years,” said Benavidez about his brother Jose Benavidez Jr. fighting Jermall Charlo in the co-feature spot on the card on November 25th on Showtime PPV.
“My brother’s been working extremely hard, and my brother’s going to go in there, and he’s going to get the victory. I hope not,” said Benavidez when asked if he think Jose Sr. will fight Canelo next if he beats Jermall.
Benavidez vs. Andrade = 50-50 fight
“It was a good fight,” said Benavidez about Canelo’s win over Jermell Charlo last September. I’m not going to discredit Canelo. He went in there he did what he had to do. He fought another undisputed champion. So he did what he had to do.”
It had to have angered Benavidez a little bit to see Canelo skip defending against him and select a 154-lb fighter, Jermell Charlo, to defend his four titles against last September.
Boxing needs to create a rule that prevents champions from fighting guys from divisions below them because it makes a joke of the sport.
It’s like an NFL team choosing to ignore teams in the league and selecting a college or semi-pro team to make money and increase their chances of winning. The NFL wouldn’t allow it to happen.
“I don’t care what no he says. We got to train, we got to prepare for these fights,” said Benavidez. “I’m the one that has to study the fighter. He’s a great fighter. He’s an ex-champion. He’s the top contender in this.
“So if people say it’s a 50/50, it doesn’t bother me, it doesn’t scare me because I know all my fights from here on out, they’re the biggest fights that they’re going to have on my career. So I’m ready for whatever.
‘He’s good for a reason. He’s tranked three or four for a reason. So I’m ready for whatever comes my way. I wouldn’t say I’m not on the pound-for-pound list right now.
“Until I get the titles, the only thing keeping me from the titles is Canelo, but we’re going to make the best fights happen, best fights possible happen, and that’s what we’re doing,” said Benavidez.