By: Sean Crose
“By the way,” ESPN’s Salvador Rodriguez posted Monday in Spanish on X/Twitter, “everything looks like it will be Charlo-Crawford for Canelo in 2024, in that order.” Should Rodriguez be proven correct, Canelo Alvarez, perhaps the biggest star in the sport, will have two major events lined up for this year. Although middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo has had his share of challenges both in and out of the ring, the man remains a known and popular commodity and has yet to lose a professional fight. As for Terrence Crawford, at this point the guy needs no introduction. For, after winning the undisputed welterweight championship over Errol Spence last summer, the fighter known as Bud is regarded by some as the single best boxer on earth.
Naturally all this leaves out David Benavidez, perhaps the biggest challenge Canelo could face at super middleweight. Charlo, after all, has only fought a single time at super middleweight. Crawford, on the other hand, is a welterweight. And while it’s been said that Crawford is going to move up to junior middleweight soon, there’s little doubt that he and Canelo would have to meet at some kind of catchweight should they fight. Yet Benavidez is young, strong, and undefeated. Furthermore, Benavidez wouldn’t have to move up in weight to face Canelo – he’s already a super middleweight, and has been for a while.
Canelo, though, is at the point in his brilliant career where he can choose whoever it is he’d like to fight. Seen through that particular lens, the choice of Charlo, then Crawford makes a lot of sense. Canelo would be a considerable favorite against both men, after all. He might be the favorite if he were to fight Benavidez, too, of course, but not as much of one. On top of all that, Canelo has reached such a level of respect and popularity that he won’t be widely faulted for his choice of opponents, provided he squares off against Benavidez sooner rather than later.
Ultimately it’s good to remember Rodriguez made it clear that it merely “looks” like Canelo will square off against Charlo and Crawford. In other words, neither potential matchup is guaranteed. Far from it. Even if Canelo wants to face Charlo and Crawford, there’s no guarantee either man would want to fight him. This is particularly true in the case of the considerably smaller Crawford, who frankly has nothing in the world to prove at this point in his ring career.
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