After outpointing former super middleweight titleholder Caleb Plant this past Saturday night, David Benavidez appears to be the next likely challenger for the undisputed championship at 168 pounds. But will he be able to get Canelo Alvarez in the ring with him?
Although Benavidez (27-0, 23 KO) was the favorite against Plant over the weekend, Plant was seemingly Benavidez’ biggest test up to this point in his professional career. But “The Mexican Monster” passed with flying colors, winning a unanimous decision with scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113.
Afterwards in the post-fight interview with Showtime’s Jim Gray, Benavidez of course called out Canelo (58-2-2, 39 KO), who holds all four major world titles at super middleweight. Alvarez will be defending those belts in a homecoming fight against John Ryder May 6 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Assuming Canelo is able to get past Ryder—and he should be heavily favored to do so—Canelo-Benavidez would be the next fight to make. Since Canelo isn’t contractually tied to any promoter or network at the moment, that fight shouldn’t be too hard to set up either.
But if that fight somehow doesn’t materialize, Benavidez does currently hold a WBC interim title, and could face one of the other top ranked fighters in that sanctioning body. Since Benavidez just beat the #1 WBC contender in Plant, the most interesting fight would likely be Demetrius Andrade (32-0, 19 KO) who’s ranked at #5. Andrade, who formerly held the WBO title at middleweight, has recently signed with Premier Boxing Champions (with which Benavidez is aligned) and could be a lucrative backup choice to the Canelo fight.
Also on the table, but certainly not as lucrative, is a matchup with #2 ranked Christian Mbilli (24-0, 20 KO) of France. Mbilli fought over the weekend as well, winning a 10-round decision over Carlos Gongora on Friday night. He doesn’t really have the fanfare behind him yet, but he does have a TV-friendy style and a high KO/stoppage percentage.
Benavidez does have some options here, but at the end of the day, we’re all hoping Canelo-Benavidez gets made for September’s Mexican Independence Day Weekend.