By: Hans Themistode
Jermall Charlo is starting to get pissed off.
On numerous occasions, the WBC middleweight belt holder has called out high-level fighters across various divisions. From IBF 160 champion Gennadiy Golovkin to unified super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, Charlo wants to take them all on.
Yet, no matter how loud he hoots and hollers about the fighters he wants to face, no one as of yet has taken him up on his offer. Fans, of course, would love to see the Houstonian face the very fighters he’s called out but have grown impatient as he attempts to lure them in the ring. Their impatience has led some of them to jump on Charlo’s case due to the lack of big names he’s faced thus far in his career.
To the surly knockout artist, he understands everyone’s frustration but in turn, he’s getting annoyed with everyone putting the blame on him.
“I’m not a matchmaker,” said Charlo on his Instagram live account. “I wish I could just fight whoever I want to fight.”
Amongst the countless names that Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) has called out, one name that has stuck out is former WBC super-middleweight belt holder David Benavidez. Unlike Alvarez, Golovkin and others that have chosen to flat out ignore Charlo, Benavidez has welcomed a possible showdown against him with open arms.
With both fighters campaigning at different weights however, fans have looked at a possible matchup between the pair as more of a pipe dream. But while Benavidez has no intentions of moving down to 160 pounds and with Charlo not fully ready to move eight pounds north, the middleweight titlist has offered to make things fair by meeting up somewhere in the middle.
“I campaign at 160, Benavidez is at 168. I want to fight the mother f*cker. Meet up somewhere, I’m with it.”
Presently, Benavidez is in the midst of training camp as he prepares to return to the ring on March 13th, against fringe contender Ronald Ellis. Assuming he walks away with the victory, both Charlo and Benavidez could be heading towards a collision course sometime soon.
By: Hans Themistode
David Benavidez may not say entirely too much but that doesn’t mean he isn’t listening. After wrapping up one of his daily workouts in preparation for his March 13th contest against fringe contender Ronald Ellis, Benavidez took the time to watch a recent interview that was conducted by the BoxingSweetScience2.0 and WBC middleweight belt holder Jermall Charlo.
During their discussion, Charlo was adamant about his ability to move up in weight and stop the much larger Benavidez in a future showdown.
“I’ll knock his ass the f**k out,” said Charlo during the interview. “I’ll move up and get that mother f**ker sooner or later.”
After hearing Charlo’s choice of word’s Benavidez (23-0, 20 KOs) could only smile as he gave his own prediction on their possible matchup.
“He says he can knock me out but I got the power to knock his ass out too,” said Benavidez during an interview with Esnews. “I would love to fight Charlo.”
While Benavidez would love nothing more than to shut the mouth of Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs), the 24-year-old is still working his way back up the 168-pound ladder.
In what turned out to be the Arizona native’s lone appearance in 2020, he easily dealt with Roamer Alexis Angulo by handing him a one-sided beating which resulted in a tenth round stoppage defeat but the highly regarded fighter saw his title reign come to an unexpected end as he was stripped of his belt for failing to make weight.
Regardless of the forfeiture of his title, Benavidez expects to get right back in the championship mix in the near future as he is ranked near the top of just about every sanctioning body in the super middleweight division.
For years now, Benavidez has pushed his chips to the middle of the table in his pursuit of a showdown with IBF titlist Caleb Plant. Recently, Benavidez has also let his feelings be known that newly crowned WBC belt holder Canelo Alvarez is a target on his Hitlist as well.
In terms of Charlo however, the eyes of Benavidez light up whenever his name is mentioned. Although the Houston native is presently campaigning one weight class lower, Benavidez has taken notice of his performances, including a dominant 12 round decision win over Sergiy Derevyanchenko this past September.
Although eight pounds is currently separating the two from making their contest a reality, Charlo has regurgitated on numerous occasions that he fully intends on moving up in weight soon. Should that happen, Benavidez won’t eschew from the two-weight world champion. Instead, he’ll welcome him with open arms.
“I think it would be a great fight, I think people would love to see that fight so I’m all for it.”
By: Hans Themistode
Jermall Charlo might be entering only his fourth year in the middleweight division but the surly knockout artist isn’t opposed to moving up in weight.
At the moment, the WBC middleweight belt holder is still holding out hope that a dream matchup against Canelo Alvarez will one day come to fruition. However, the Houston native has expressed serious interest in moving up in weight to take on former super middleweight titlist David Benavidez.
Although Benavidez (23-0, 20 KOs) campaigns at a higher weight and would hold a two-inch height and four-inch reach advantage in their possible showdown, Charlo could care less about the physical disadvantages he would be facing.
“I don’t care about weight,” said Charlo to BoxingSweetScience2.0 during a recent interview. I’ll move up and get that mother f**ker sooner or later.
Benavidez, 24, has never been one to back down from a challenge. In fact, the Phoenix Arizona product has spoken highly of Charlo’s skills in the past and anticipates a future showdown between the two. Presently though, Benavidez is currently preparing to return to the ring against fringe contender Ronald Ellis on March 13th. While he’s barely lost a round during his eight-year career, Charlo notices holes in his game and if they aren’t corrected, will lead to a painful defeat if and when the two actually do meet in the ring.
“He gets hit way too much. These the type of shots you can’t get hit by like that. I’ll knock his ass the f**k out.”
Despite taking aim at Benavidez, Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) still has work to do in his current weight class. In what turned out to be his lone appearance in the ring in 2020, Charlo had a relatively easy time against perpetual contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Coming into their showdown, many expected the Ukrainian to not only provide Charlo with his stiffest test to date but in the eyes of some, Derevyanchenko was predicted to relieve Charlo of his WBC title.
Those predictions, of course, were found to be laughable as Charlo outboxed and outmuscled his man. The win may have set up a plethora of matchups for him in his division but there is one name Charlo wants above all others.
“Obviously I want Canelo.”
By: Hans Themistode
Former super middleweight belt holder David Benavidez will begin his 2021 campaign with a stiff test as he takes on contender Ronald Ellis. As first reported by The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger, the pair are slated to face off in the main event slot on Showtime on March 13th. Reports also indicate that their showdown is likely to take place in Uncasville Connecticut.
For Benavidez, he’ll look to turn the page on what turned out to be a messy 2020. After spending 11 months on the sidelines mostly due to COVID-19, Benavidez (23-0, 20 KOs) finally got the ball rolling as he took on Roamer Alexis Angulo. What was originally supposed to be the second defense of Benavidez WBC 168-pound championship, things shifted to a non-title event as Benavidez failed to make weight and was subsequently stripped.
Losing his title however, did nothing to slow down his in-ring momentum as he steamrolled Angulo via tenth round stoppage.
In the case of Ellis (18-1-2, 12 KOs) on the other hand, he also spent the majority of 2020 waiting and hoping to appear in the ring. His wish was granted as he took on perpetual contender Matt Korobov on December 12th. While Ellis seemed troubled by the cagey veteran southpaw early on, he was given a reprieve as Korobov suffered an injury to his left ankle and could not continue. At the time of the stoppage, Korobov was leading on two of the three scorecards.
By: Hans Themistode
There’s a huge misconception going around according to Caleb Plant concerning his super middleweight showdown with David Benavidez. For years now, both fighters have spent most of their time calling each other out at every turn. However, the persistent derogatory words hurled at one another haven’t led to any signed bout agreements.
While most of the boxing world is still pissed off that their contest hasn’t come to fruition, Plant urges the public to place the blame where it rightfully belongs.
“He’s the one who keeps losing the belt,” said Plant to ThaBoxingVoice during a recent interview. “He loses the belt to cocaine, he gets it back then loses it on the scales. I’m not the hold-up.”
To Plant’s credit, the IBF belt holder is completely right. After winning the WBC super-middleweight title against Ronald Gavril in February of 2018, Benavidez was busted for cocaine use and subsequently suspended and stripped. The 24-year-old would return to the ring roughly one and a half years later, making quick work of fringe contender J’Leon Love before ultimately ripping away his lost title out of the hands of Anthony Dirrell.
A feeling of déjà appeared however, as Benavidez would have his title reign truncated yet again. This time, due to his failure to make weight in his most recent contest against Roamer Angulo.
Although Benavidez doesn’t currently hold a world title, the Phoenix native has still called for Plant to “man up” and face him in the ring. While Plant admits that he does, in fact, want to get his hands on his long-time rival, he’ll ultimately have to twiddle his thumbs and wait his turn.
“I have a mandatory and then me and Canelo are going to make that fight happen. At this point, he’s going to have to sit off to the side cause he keeps fucking up. He’s going to have to wait his turn. He’s going to have to be a good little boy and wait his turn. In life, you don’t get to just keep messing up and messing up and keep skipping the line. That’s not how it works in boxing and that’s not how it works in life.”
By: Hans Themistode
Canelo Alvarez has quite possibly the biggest target on his back. With the pound for pound star dipping his toes in multiple weight divisions, he’s been picked out by numerous fighters as their main choice for the person they would love to face the most.
For former super middleweight champion David Benavidez, he also has his eyes set on Alvarez. However, the Mexican superstar isn’t number one on the Hitlist of Benavidez.
“I want Caleb Plant more than Canelo right now,” said Benavidez during an interview with FightHype.
The feud between Benavidez (23-0, 20 KOs) and IBF belt holder Caleb Plant has been ongoing for several years now. The nonstop trash talk between the two hasn’t resulted in an actual showdown coming to fruition though.
At one point, matching them together was number one on the agenda of Plant. But with Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) letting his feelings known that he would also like to face the IBF titlist, Benavidez has been thrown on the back burner.
While the Arizona native isn’t thrilled that Alvarez has seemingly skipped him on the line to face Plant, he fully understands. The 24-year-old believes that a preceding matchup with himself would put an immediate nail in the coffin of a showdown between Plant and Alvarez.
“Since he’s about to fight Canelo for big-money, obviously they’re going to take that fight. They’re not going to put me in with Caleb Plant because that’s too much of a risk for Caleb Plant. When I beat him he would miss his big payday. At the end of the day, that’s all we’re here for, big pays.”
Before Mexico’s Alvarez dismantled Callum Smith and ripped away his WBA/Ring magazine super middleweight titles on December 19th, Plant was thought to be in the driver’s seat for a possible mega showdown. That, of course, didn’t happen due to various reasons.
Still, Alvarez has expressed a desire to win every world title in his new weight class. Meaning, as long as Plant holds onto his IBF crown, a showdown with the pound for pound star is inevitable.
If, in fact, a unification bout between the pair does take place, Benavidez has a strong hunch on who would emerge victorious.
“They’re both world champions but I feel like Canelo has a little more experience and hits a little bit harder. Caleb Plant has 10 knockouts in 21 fights. For him to beat Canelo he has to be perfect and not get touched. I feel like for Canelo’s rivals, it’s a slim chance of them winning even if they win the fight. They have to win by knockout.”
By: Hans Themistode
Edgar Berlanga has gone from super middleweight prospect to must-watch television in seemingly the blink of an eye. With 16 first-round knockouts, Berlanga has garnered national television due to the savage beatings he’s dished out during his short career.
Names such as recently inducted hall of famer Andre Ward and former two-division titlist Tim Bradley have been left impressed with his performances. So has promoter Bob Arum who’s pegged him to be a possible future star.
But while Berlanga (16-0, 16 KOs) continues to receive pats on the back for a job well done, former super middleweight champion David Benavidez doesn’t understand the hype. The 24-year-old admits that the knockouts are highlight-worthy, but after taking a deep dive into Berlanga’s resume, Benavidez could only come to one conclusion.
“The people that he knocked out are all bums,” said Benavidez during a recent interview on AHAT, a YouTube channel. “They’re all garbage but he makes them look nice.”
Recently, former trainer of long-reigning middleweight titlist Gennadiy Golovkin in Abel Sanchez, spoke glowingly of the skills of Benavidez. Going as far as to say that even as an amateur, Benavidez gave Golovkin all he could handle in sparring. His experience in the unpaid ranks, coupled with his truncated title reigns, has left Benavidez scratching his head as he tries to understand the hype surrounding the new kid on the super middleweight block.
“I been fighting way better competition since I was 17 years old, 18 years old. He’s 23 years old now and he’s fighting nobodies. If that makes him and his team feel good than to each their own.”
Not only does Benavidez (23-0, 20 KOs) struggle to recognize any of the names on Berlanga’s resume but the Arizona native doesn’t see the benefit in what he’s accomplishing. The quick nights at the office may have netted Berlanga a few newfound celebrity friends as well as daily appearances on Sports Centers highlight reel, but Benavidez is under the impression that his growth is being stunted and the pressure is mounting.
“It’s cool but the thing about knocking people out in the first hard is now there’s pressure. He’s throwing everything in the first round. There’s a lot of stuff in this professional game that he has to learn. You have to learn how to go a couple rounds, throw a couple jabs, set some guys up. You don’t always have to go for the finish every first round but now that people are making a big deal out of it he’s putting a lot of pressure on himself to knock people out in the first round.”
For Berlanga, there’s a certain aura of invincibility that is accompanying him and his current streak. No matter how hard his opponents attempt to simply make it through the first three minutes, it’s become virtually impossible up until this point. To Benavidez though, it’s all a lie. Berlanga may seem unbeatable but the former titleholder has seen him lose time and time again.
“I have a couple videos of him getting knocked out in the amateurs. I just saw a video of Erickson Lubin beating him up so I don’t think much of that guy.”
Despite not believing in the hype, Berlanga would love to share with the up and comer from Brooklyn, New York. He doesn’t anticipate that it will happen now, but as long as Berlanga continues to win, Benavidez views their clash as inevitable.
“We’ll see where he get to. That’s definitely a fight that I wanna make happen in the future.”
By: Hans Themistode
After fighting at middleweight for several years and outside of making a brief, yet successful cameo at light heavyweight, Canelo Alvarez has officially found a home at 168 pounds.
The four-division titlist made his latest ring appearance this past weekend as he handed previously undefeated Callum Smith a one-sided beating. The win for Alvarez not only netted him the WBC/Ring magazine titles, but it also reinforced the belief of trainer Abel Sanchez that Canelo Alvarez will go virtually unmatched in his new division.
Whether it’s a possible showdown with IBF titlist Caleb Plant or a contest against WBO belt holder Billy Joe Saunders, Sanchez will consistently back Alvarez. However, there is someone out there who he does believe could and would give the pound for pound star all that he could handle.
“There’s only one guy at that weight that can get an upset against Canelo,” said Sanchez on Fight Hub TV. “That’s a young man named David Benavidez. That is the cream of the crop at that weight right there other than Canelo. The only guy that I think can give Canelo fits is David Benavidez.”
The thoughts of Sanchez don’t simply come from an outsider’s perspective. As the former trainer of IBF middleweight titlist Gennadiy Golovkin, Sanchez was given a close look at what the now 24-year-old was capable of. While Golovkin is best known for destroying his competition, his preparation in large part was aided by a young Benavidez.
“I had him in camp sparring with Golovkin at a very young age. Probably the best sparring I ever had for Golovkin and this young man was still an amateur. Was three or four years from turning pro. I’ve seen him spar with guys at the Wild Card Gym, seasoned guys and it was easy for him. If he was doing that back then, imagine now. He’s a much better fighter today.”
Sanchez, of course, cornered Golovkin in back to back fights against Alvarez. A controversial draw in 2017 and a more definitive split decision loss, the first of Golovkin’s career. While Sanchez was once hesitant to name Alvarez as the best fighter in the world several years ago, now however, he has no issue stating that the Mexican product is in fact on top of his pound-for-pound charts.
Still, his high placement in the mind of Sanchez doesn’t mean he’s unbeatable. It would simply take a special fighter to do so. A description he believes Benavidez fits perfectly.
“I think Benavidez gives anybody that he fights fits. Not just because of his defensive ability but he’s able to switch gears so easily. He’ll lay on the ropes and mess around. All of a sudden he’ll put it in another gear and he’ll become a different fighter. He’s the only fighter I believe could give Canelo real problems.”
By: Hans Themistode
While he tried his best, former WBA/Ring magazine titlist Callum Smith was simply no match for Canelo Alvarez this past weekend at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Through 12 one-sided rounds, Smith fell flat as he forfeited his titles to the Mexican superstar.
For the most, Smith was praised for withstanding the beating Alvarez dished out for the entirety of their contest. In the case of former WBC belt holder David Benavidez (23-0, 20 KOs) however, nothing Smith did impressed him.
“Callum looked gassed in the third round,” said Benavidez on his social media account. “He looked weak as fuck the whole fight.”
The game plan which Smith deployed on the night, was a stark difference from the one he detailed before their showdown. Smith, 30, was under the impression that he could hold his ground with the much smaller Alvarez and dictate the pace. Regardless of Smith believing he would be the stronger man, the Mexican native proved to be far too much in virtually every category.
Throwing salt on his fresh wound isn’t something that Benavidez enjoy’s. But he did make it clear that the constant retreating by Smith is something that would be the complete opposite if and when he gets his opportunity.
“I guarantee to make it a war and not run around the ring for 12 rounds like Callum.”
For Benavidez, a showdown with Alvarez is exactly what he is hoping for. With that being said, so is the rest of the super middleweight division. And the middleweight division. And, although he has only fought there once, several champions in the light heavyweight division want their crack at him as well.
Still, even with the seemingly endless names ahead of him awaiting their turn for a shot at Alvarez, the 24-year-old Benavidez has no issue waiting. Whether it’s a showdown with Caleb Plant, Callum Smith or even Jermall Charlo – Benavidez is steadfast in his belief that he will bulldoze the competition in order to get to the front of the line.
“I will get through anybody to get to Canelo if that’s what needs to be done. I’ll be ready when my opportunity comes. It don’t matter who in front of me. I will make them all bend the knee.”
By: Hans Themistode
Before Canelo Alvarez is given the opportunity to sit back and enjoy the fruits of labor, he is immediately bombarded with the same tiresome questions.
After ripping away both the WBA and Ring magazine super middleweight titles from British native Callum Smith, Canelo Alvarez has a long line of competitors claiming to be the only one suitable to knock the Mexican product off his high horse. While Alvarez has spent the past two years campaigning in three separate weight classes, there simply isn’t a clear cut choice in terms of someone who would be favored to take him down.
With that being said, we’ve done our best to put together the three best options for the four division titlist to mull over for his next ring appearance.
Squeezing back down to the middleweight division seems a bit unlikely for Alvarez at this point in time. But that doesn’t mean he can’t or won’t look to head eight pounds south in the near future. If he does, the obvious name for him to face would be long time rival Gennadiy Golovkin. With two unbelievably close contests already in the books, a third would close the chapter between the two once and for all.
With that being said, at the age of 38, while he’s still great, Golovkin simply isn’t what he used to be. A matchup between the pair would more than likely result in one way traffic in favor of Alvarez. Should he take on WBC titlist Jermall Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) however, the results would be something else entirely. For Houston’s Charlo, he dwarfs Alvarez and has the sort of punching power that may deter him from bulldozing right in.
It’s a matchup that Alvarez would still be favored in, but still, Charlo would give him one helluva fight.
Just a few weeks ago, this wouldn’t have been on this list as the two were close to finalizing an agreement to face off. Yet, things fell through due to various reasons. Sure Alvarez just made easy work of the much bigger Callum Smith, but in facing Caleb Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) he would present the pound for pound star with different problems entirely.
When it comes to the 168-pound landscape, former two time world champion David Benavidez is thought to be the biggest threat to Alvarez. Yet, that just isn’t the case. The 24 year old undoubtedly has fast hands and huge power but he’s slow on his feet and comes straight ahead. Stylistically, those sorts of fighters have been easy pickings for Alvarez.
In the case of Plant, he’s much more in the mold of an Erislandy Lara, a pure boxer who gave Alvarez all sorts of trouble when the two met in 2014. Granted, Alvarez is a much different fighter now, but still, coming straight ahead against a counter puncher as good as Alvarez just doesn’t seem like the way to beat him.
Canelo Alvarez has never had an issue facing men who were bigger and stronger than he was. But, when it comes to unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev – he’s much bigger and much stronger then anyone Alvarez has ever faced.
In short, Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) has frightening power. When previously discussing David Benavidez and his tailor-made game for Alvarez, Beterbiev would fight him in the same manor. The difference however, is that Beterbiev isn’t the sort of fighter you want to sit in the pocket with and exchange punches with.
While this would quite possibly be the toughest fight of his career, Alvarez has already reiterated that the super middleweight division is where he feels the most comfortable. With that being said, team Canelo has also expressed a desire to face the best, and in terms of Artur Beterbiev, there gets no better than him.
By: Hans Themistode
For years now, IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant and former WBC belt holder David Benavidez have thrown shots at each other over social media. Fans however, would love to see both fighters throw blows inside of the ring.
After surfacing as one of the top candidates for a showdown with Canelo Alvarez, Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) has expressed an interest in making that matchup happen later on this year. Yet, with there reportedly not being enough time to promote an event of that magnitude, Alvarez now appears to be on the verge of inking a contract to face off against WBA belt holder Callum Smith instead.
Plant, not pleased with the recent developments, turned to social media to post an image of a wolf devouring another animal with the caption: “Put a fucking date on it and let me pull up and do my thing. I’m ready this year. Whenever, wherever.”
Despite his pleas, Plant appears to be on the outside looking in, at least for the time being. If however, the IBF belt holder still wants a high profile matchup, then Benavidez (23-0, 20 KOs) would love to face him.
“You talk all that shit you gotta come show me,” said Benavidez on his social media account. “We ain’t running from nobody.”
Plant, 28, was last seen inside of the ring in mid-February against fringe contender Vincent Feigenbutz. Plant toyed with his man before ending the night in the tenth round. The win for the Nashville, Tennessee native marked the second of his title reign. For Benavidez though, the soon to be 23 year old has had numerous title reigns truncated.
After winning the vacant strap against Ronald Gavril via split decision in 2017, Benavidez would win the immediate rematch more convincingly. Shortly after the contest, a suspension due to cocaine would see his victory short lived as he was suspended for four months and stripped of his title. He would return to the ring one year later and make short work of J’Leon Love and followed that up with a ninth round stoppage over Anthony Dirrell to win his title back.
Again, his reign was short lived, this time on the scales before his contest against Roamer Alexis Angulo. The forfeiture of his title though, hasn’t stopped the pugnacious knockout artist from calling out Plant for a showdown.
For the 23-year-old, his patience is growing thin.
“Let’s get this shit done I’m tired of waiting to fight you. Since you got so much balls why don’t you send that contract this way. Let’s finally give the people this fight.”
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.
By: Hans Themistode
Daniel Jacobs seemed to be enjoying his brief time at his new division. After years of struggling to make the 160 pound limit, Jacobs made the call to move up eight pounds. The results so far have been pretty good. A fifth round stoppage win against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in his last ring appearance.
Although it’s long been proven that Chavez Jr won’t live up to his father’s name, he is still a solid opponent. Jacobs made it look easy when the two faced off on December 20th, at the Talking Stick Resort Arena, in Phoenix Arizona.
With Jacobs no longer having to worry about cutting any extra weight, he feels somewhat free in his new weight class. Still, that doesn’t mean things will be easy.
At the moment, the 168 pound division is known as one of the best in all of boxing. With champions such as IBF belt holder Caleb Plant, WBC champion David Benavidez, WBA titlist Callum Smith and WBO champ Billy Joe Saunders, the path to another title won’t be easy for Jacobs. Yet, during a recent FaceTime interview with promoter Eddie Hearn, he did give his opinion on who he believes is the weak link out of that championship bunch.
“To say who’s the best is kinda hard to say. But I would say, I mean, all those guys are top,” Jacobs said. “I would probably put Plant at the bottom of those names that you just named. I think Plant is good, but I think, you know, I think he can be beat. He’s beatable. I see a lot of flaws in his game.”
With just 20 fights under his record, Plant would seem to have the least experience. But many peg him as the best boxer at 168.
With boxers, along with most of the world, having absolutely nothing to do thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, it shouldn’t take long for Plant to hear what Jacobs feels about him.
The former Middleweight champ doesn’t just have an eye on Plant though, but every single one of the champions. Including the one name he believes is better than the rest.
“As far as Benavidez, he’s probably the strongest that I’ve seen amongst those guys that you just mentioned. But now that I’m coming up to the super middleweight division, it’s interesting. And now these guys have my attention. I’m gonna be studying, looking forward to what’s next, what’s best for me and my career.”
Boxing Insider Notebook: Cotto, Mayweather, Pacquiao, Canelo, Ward, Kovalev, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 16th to May 23rd, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Miguel Cotto to Face Yoshihiro Kamegai on August 26th
Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs), the only four-division world champion in the rich boxing history of Puerto Rico, will return to the ring on Saturday, August 26 to take on the always-exciting Yoshihiro “El Maestrito” Kamegai (27-3-2, 24 KOs) in a 12-round match for the vacant WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship from the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Cotto will attempt to secure a sixth world championship in four weight classes as he makes his 23rd appearance on HBO.
Cotto, a surefire, first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, has held world titles in the super lightweight, welterweight, junior middleweight and middleweight divisions and has fought and defeated a who’s who of elite fighters over the last 15 years including Kelson Pinto, Demarcus “Chop Chop” Corley, Ricardo “Mochuelo” Torres, Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi, Zab “Super” Judah, Sugar Shane Mosley, Antonio “El Tornado de Tijuana” Margarito, Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga and Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez.
“I’m very excited to be back and showcase a high level fight for the fans,” Cotto said. “Kamegai is a great, tough fighter, but I will be ready for him and to capture the world title. I can’t wait to start training for this fight and get back in the ring on August 26.”
Kamegai is known as one of the highest-action fighters in the sport having engaged in a fight of the year candidate against Jesus “Renuente” Soto Karass in 2016 and taking champions and contenders including Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, Alfonso Gomez and Johan “El Terrible” Perez into deep water.
“I fully understand who I am going to be in the ring against, but Cotto’s record and history won’t matter once we are toe-to-toe,” Kamegai said. “I am looking forward to giving fans the kind of aggressive fight that they have seen from me before and having my arm raised in victory.
“Miguel Cotto is a legend who is still fighting for title belts more than a dozen years after first being crowned a world champion. It’s remarkable,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “But I’ve seen Kamegai in action many times, and the guy doesn’t ever take a step back. Miguel will have his hands full on August 26.”
“August 26 will mark the return of Miguel Cotto pursuing his sixth world title,” said Hector Soto, Vice President of Miguel Cotto Promotions. “Cotto vs. Kamegai will be another epic battle that promises fireworks in the ring between Puerto Rico and Japan. Miguel Cotto is back on the big stage of boxing, fighting in Los Angeles on HBO. Nobody can miss it.”
Floyd Mayweather Invites Anthony Joshua to Las Vegas to Train
Floyd Mayweather Jr. recently spoke to Fight Hype and invited Anthony Joshua to come to the Mayweather Boxing Club and train with him in Las Vegas. Mayweather met with Joshua in London on Sunday and praised him for his victory over Wladimir Klitschko.
Mayweather stated, “You have to respect AJ. He showed that he had heart but we have to bring hum up to the Mayweather Boxing Club as we want to tighten that defense up until it’s real, real sharp and real, real slick.”
Maayweather, who was in London for his Gervonta Davis’ fight, continued by stating , “I’m not trying to move his trainers out the way but there’s things we want to tweak. You saw what we did to Tank [Gervonta Davis]…nobody knew who this kid even wa. But we brought him up and now he’s world champion.”
View Mayweather’s comments at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxavXE7Gs6Y
Manny Pacquiao’s Coach is Wary of Jeff Horn’s Punching Power
Manny Pacquiao is set to face Australia’s Jeff Horn on July 2nd at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
Many people consider this to be an easy fight for pacquiao, but Hall of Fame Trainer Freddie Roach recently told ABC-SBN that he has some concerns and isn’t underestimating Horn’s power.
He stated, “This guy can punch. He’s knocked out his last few opponents.” He continued, “He’s dangerous with the right, he has a real good right hook, and that’s something Manny’s been hit with before. We’re fixing all that now and it won’t be a concern by fight time.”
Read more at http://sports.abs-cbn.com/boxing/news/2017/05/23/manny-pacquiao-s-coach-wary-jeff-horn-s-punching-power-26396
Canelo Cements Status as Top Draw in Boxing As Pay Per View Numbers from May 6th Fight Set to Eclipse Seven Figures
The Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. fight on Cinco De Mayo weekend will generate more than one million buys on HBO Pay-Per-View, locking in Canelo’s status as the brightest light in boxing, Golden Boy Promotions announced today.
“Everything I do is for the fans, and I want to express my gratitude for everyone who watches my fights and shows their support,” Canelo said. “My fans are the greatest in the world and this year in September on Mexican Independence weekend, everyone can look forward to another incredible performance.”
Some facts about Canelo’s PPV performance:
•Canelo will be the youngest A-side fighter in history to generate a seven-figure pay-per-view audience;
•This will be the largest Pay-Per-View audience to watch in a boxing match in two years;
•Canelo will be the first A-side fighter in 15 years not named De La Hoya, Mayweather or Pacquiao, to draw a million buys.
“These numbers solidify Canelo as the undisputed biggest name in the sport of boxing-simple as that,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “At 26 years old, there is no limit to Canelo’s star power as he continues to cross over to mainstream audiences. Canelo only wants to take on the best and the biggest, and we’re confident he will continue to shatter records as boxing’s new pay-per-view king.
24/7 Ward-Kovalev II Premieres June 2nd on HBO
In advance of the highly anticipated light heavyweight championship rematch between world-class prizefighters Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev, HBO Sports will air “24/7 Ward/Kovalev 2,” an exhilarating 30-minute special examining the upcoming encounter. The intriguing pay-per-view event featuring the two pound-for-pound aces takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
The “24/7 Ward/Kovalev 2” special will premiere Friday, June 2 at 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT). The special will look back at their first fight and will preview the hotly anticipated rematch between two accomplished and tenacious ring warriors who first met last November under the red-hot Las Vegas spotlight. Ward, who has not lost a fight since his teen-age years, scored a razor-thin decision over Kovalev and collected all the title belts that the Russian knockout specialist had accumulated. The special will provide all-new content including portraits of both fighters’ path to this impactful showdown. Each has set up training camp on the west coast; Ward in his hometown of Oakland, CA and Kovalev farther south in both Big Bear and Oxnard, CA.
The 30-minute special narrated by Liev Schreiber and produced by HBO’s Emmy-Award-winning “24/7” production team will also be available on HBO On Demand®, HBO GO®, HBO NOW and affiliate portals as well as at www.hbo.com/boxingandvarious other new media platforms that distribute the show.
Thomas Hearns Visits Claressa Shields in Training at Berston Field House in Flint
Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Women’s NABF Middleweight Champion, Claressa “T-Rex” Shields had a very special visitor at her gym yesterday, none other than all-time Michigan great Thomas “Hitman” Hearns.
Hearns, from Detroit, is the 1980 and 1984 The Ring Magazine “Fighter of the Year” and the first boxer in history to win world titles in five weight divisions: welterweight, light middleweight, middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight.
22-year-old Shields (2-0, 1 KO) of Flint, is currently preparing for her eight-round main event against Mery Rancier (7-8-3, 5 KOs) of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for the WBC Silver Super Middleweight Championship at Salita Promotions’ “Detroit Brawl” on Friday, June 16, 2017 at the Masonic Temple in Detroit.
“I came out to see her because I want her to do well. I think it’s wonderful that a female fighter is the best from Michigan right now,” said Hearns. “The world is all about change and this is change for the better. I feel good about it. The champions from the past from Michigan are passing the torch to the next great fighter from here and that’s Claressa. The fans in Michigan should come out and help support her because she is the future.”
Shields said she was humbled to have such an all-time great supporting her.
“To have Tommy Hearns come out to my gym means a lot to me, I feel like I’m moving my career in the right direction and getting the right attention. I’m not just some girl putting on some gloves. It means a lot to be the latest big-name fighter to come from Michigan. I’m glad Tommy Hearns chose to come here and it does feel like a passing of the torch. He is very supportive and it feels great to be respected by such a great world champion.”
Shields says her training is going extremely well for her third professional and second championship fight.
“Training so far has been going really good. We’re 29 days out of the fight and I’m in the best shape of my life. I trained hard for my six-rounder and that only went four rounds and I feel like I’m still in shape from that. Now I’m getting ready for eight rounds and I feel great. I’m fighting at 168 pounds and I’m at 168 right now. I haven’t been having weight problems and I’m eating right and running every day.”
Shields promoter, Dmitriy Salita, says Hearns indicated he was very impressed with Shields’ gym work.
“Claressa is the next boxing superstar from the state of Michigan,” he said. “It’s a very special passing of the torch from such a living legend who lives in Detroit as Tommy Hearns. Mr. Hearns, who is a Detroit boxing icon and a great ambassador of the sport, was very impressed with Claressa’s skills and training regimen.”
Salita says he sees Shields’ potential for superstardom and her ability to revive the energy in Michigan boxing.
“Detroit is Americas Greatest Comeback city. We are going to see a revival of world-class boxing, ushered in by a young lady from Flint who despite growing up in very difficult circumstances, is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, the most accomplished boxer every to come out of the USA boxing program. This is only her third pro bout, and she is fighting for the WBC Silver title on June 16. We are witnessing something very special here and it’s very ironic that it’s all taking place close to Detroit, which is fighting back for its own recognition again as one of Americas Greatest cities.”
Sampson Lewkowicz Congratulates David Benavidez for Sensational KO of Porky Medina
Promoter Sampson Lewkowicz wishes to congratulate his fighter, David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez of Phoenix, Arizona, for his sensational eighth-round knockout over Mexico’s Rogelio “Porky” Medina on Saturday night at the Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas.
With the star-making victory, Benavidez (18-0, 17 KOs) becomes a mandatory challenger for the WBC Super Middleweight Championship. And, depending on when it happens, a win in that fight could make 20-year-old Benavidez the youngest super middleweight world champion in boxing history.
“We were hopeful David would win the fight,” said Lewkowicz, “but I am amazed at how he won. He was incredible. Have you ever seen a knockout like that? An eight-punch combination that almost put Medina out of the ring? David is the best super middleweight in the world. No one can take his punches.”
Lewkowicz, who is often credited for spotting the early talent in champions Manny Pacquiao and Sergio Martinez, has been predicting stardom for Benavidez since early in his career. He now says the sky is the limit for his young charge.
“David’s first fight with me was in November 2015. I said after that fight he was something special and he will be champion by the end of 2017. Medina is a very good fighter. He gave (IBF Super Middleweight Champion) James DeGale a very tough fight not long ago. And David beat him up to the head and body. He works very hard to be who he is and deserves everything he gets.”
Lewkowicz says Benavidez will take a short time off to rest and then get back in the gym to begin training for his championship challenge.
“It doesn’t make a difference who he fights for the title. David will roll over everybody he fights. He is the new boss at 168 lbs. I am very happy to be his promoter and my congratulations also go to his father, Jose, who does a great job getting him ready for his fights.”