Canelo Alvarez’s trainer, Eddie Reynoso, has named four potential opponents for his fighter after Caleb Plant: two-time WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez; current WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo; WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol and WBC and IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev.
Alvarez, who is seeking to become the first undisputed super middleweight champion on Saturday against Plant, has won world titles at multiple weight divisions including light middleweight; middleweight; super middleweight and light heavyweight. His last three bouts have been at super middleweight, in which he has knocked out two of three opponents.
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Alvarez said in an interview with Boxing Scene in 2019 it would be “very difficult” to return to middleweight, so it is more likely he would move up to face Bivol or Beterbiev at light heavyweight. If he were to face Charlo, the middleweight would have to move up to super middleweight or at a catchweight, which he said previously he was willing to do.
Here’s a look at each of Alvarez’s potential opponents and what they could bring from a stylistic perspective.
According to The Ring, Benavidez is listed as the No. 1 challenger in the super middleweight division to Alvarez, who holds The Ring, WBA, WBC and WBO titles and could become undisputed champion if he beats Plant for the IBF belt on Saturday.
Benavidez twice won the WBC super middleweight title in 2017 and 2019, though he tested positive for cocaine in a urine sample collected by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) in August 2018. He was eventually stripped of his 2017 title and received a four-month suspension through February 2019 by the WBC.
Benavidez has since fought twice, defeating Roamer Alexis Angulo and Ronald Ellis by knockout. Benavidez is next set to fight Kyrone Davis on Nov. 13 at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Ariz.
Benavidez, who made his professional debut at age 16, was previously the youngest 168-pound champion in boxing’s history (20) and is known for his offensive power and accuracy. He landed 289 of 352 power punches thrown (54 percent) in his latest victory over Ellis.
Benavidez has a record of 24-0 with 21 knockouts and is just 24 years old.
Charlo has called out Alvarez for some time and said Thursday he wants the winner between Alvarez and Plant.
“I’m looking for a mega-deal and extend my legacy,” Charlo said. “If one of those guys gives me the opportunity I’m definitely taking it.”
Charlo is currently rated the No. 2 fighter at middleweight behind Gennady Golovkin, who currently holds the IBF title. Charlo has a professional record of 32-0 (22 KOs) and is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Juan Macias Montiel in June.
Perhaps the most intriguing of Alvarez’s potential future opponents, as his length at 6-0 and reach at 73 ½ inches, Charlo could present problems if he is able to establish his jab — something Golovkin attempted to do at will during his two fights with Alvarez.
Bivol has held the WBA light heavyweight title since November 2017 and is undefeated in 18 professional fights, winning 11 of them by knockout.
The second-ranked fighter at light heavyweight by The Ring, Bivol is an effective technical fighter and is able to land punches with both of his hands at a solid rate. However, he is a bit flat-footed and thin around the waist, something Alvarez could take advantage of if he’s able to go to target the body.
Bivol is coming off a unanimous decision win over Craig Richards and May and has not knocked out an opponent since Sullivan Barrera in March 2018.
Beterbiev, who won the WBC light heavyweight title with a technical knockout victory over Oleksandr Gvozdyk in October 2019, is the top-ranked fighter in the division by The Ring and is the most difficult challenge for Alvarez if he moves up in weight.
Beterbiev has won all 16 of his fights by knockout and has exceptional power. Only one of his professional fights has gone the distance, and he is one of the most feared fighters because of it.
This would be an intriguing fight stylistically, especially since Alvarez is an effective counter-puncher and can move well-off power shots. Expect a fiery fight if this would come to fruition.
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