By: Hans Themistode
The music is playing, but Canelo Alvarez is yet to find a dance partner.
The four division world champion has been in the market to find a suitable opponent, but no one has taken the bait. As of late, names such as Anthony Dirrell, John Ryder and Sergiy Derevyanchenko have reportedly been in the running.
While some of those names may gain the attention of fans, the vast majority of them have no interest in what they bring to the table. Regardless of COVID-19 preventing fans from entering arenas, Alvarez won’t be given a pass for facing a soft touch.
Although his promoter has already watered down his opposition for his September date by stating that Alvarez won’t be fighting a fellow champion, we’ve decided to come up with a list of our own. Since the Mexican star campaigns at three weight divisions, we’ve sprinkled a few names from each weight class to make our list more compelling.
So with that being said, here’s our list for the top 5 opponents that Alvarez should choose for his next contest.
5. David Benavidez
David Benavidez (22-0, 19 KOs) may only be 23 years of age, but the argument can easily be made that he’s the best fighter at 168 pounds. From a stylistic standpoint, Benavidez would be the toughest matchup for Alvarez. With a staggering seven inch reach, the pound for pound star would have a difficult time getting in.
At some point though, the shorter Alvarez will bulldoze his way inside, and when he does, how will Benavidez react? Also, does he have the experience to out box his man from the outside?
This matchup brings so many questions, but there’s only one way to answer them.
With two fights already in the books, it feels as though the score will never be settled between Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin (GGG). The reason behind it is simple, GGG seems to have gotten a raw deal.
Their first matchup in 2017 left most of the boxing world shaking their collective heads when it was announced a draw. Most believed GGG (40-1-1, 35 KOs) did more than enough to bring in the victory. Their rematch one year later was much closer, but most were inclined to score it either a draw, or a close win for GGG.
At the age of 38, the former unified middleweight champion has seen better days. And although most would believe that Canelo wins a third fight easily, the storyline and long lasting feud is good enough to see them do it one final time.
3. Demetrius Andrade
At this point, it’s becoming ridiculous. Two division world champion and current WBO middleweight belt holder Demetrius Andrade just can’t seem to land a big fight.
He’s always been regarded as one of the most talented fighters in boxing circles, but he has yet to get on the big stage to prove it. Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs) has been calling for a matchup with Alvarez for years now. Yet, the four division world champion has said on numerous occasions that Andrade is a boring fighter that doesn’t put any butts in seats.
Well, with COVID-19 currently running amuck, Andrade doesn’t need to be a draw. Even with Alvarez currently campaigning at 168, Andrade has said that he has no issue moving up in weight.
There has been a growing narrative around Alvarez. His resume looks impressive but most of the names associated with it were past their primes when he took them on. If Andrade were to hit the Alvarez sweepstakes however, that narrative no longer applies.
2. Jermall Charlo
There’s something about Jermall Charlo (30-0, 22 KOs) that leaves fans with more question marks than answers. He’s currently an undefeated world champion and former two division titlist.
His physique is intimidating and his fighting style makes you question the sanity of anyone who steps into the ring with him.
Through 30 career fights, he hasn’t come close to losing. His resume isn’t as deep as it probably should be, but he’s fought solid opposition. Julian Williams, Austin Trout and Matt Korobov were all handed one sided losses when matched up against him. With that being said, we still want to see more.
There is a growing belief that the Houston born Charlo is the best fighter at 160 pounds. His reign at 160 could be truncated however as he’s told multiple media outlets that he would move up in weight in order to get his hands on Alvarez.
The interest surrounding this matchup would be high, and the fans would run to their television screens in order to see who wins.
1. Artur Beterbiev
If Canelo Alvarez chooses any of the names on this list, then boxing fans will be beyond satisfied. But if for some reason, unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) is chosen, they’ll shed tears of joy.
For as great as the names associated with this list are, Alvarez would be favored against all them. Well, except for Beterbiev. The hard hitting knockout artist has never met a chin that he couldn’t dent. Alvarez however, is known for not only his impregnable defense but his iron will.
Unlike every other fighter on this list, Alvarez would have a noticeable disadvantage in terms of strength. The deck will be completely stacked against him from start to finish in this one. But that is exactly why it ranks number one. Canelo Alvarez is regarded by many as the best pound for pound fighter on the planet, but he can really stamp that notion with a win over Beterbiev.