LAS VEGAS – David Benavidez believes he has earned a shot at boxing's biggest superstar.
The unbeaten super middleweight claimed a 12-round unanimous decision win over Caleb Plant on March 25 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas to retain his WBC mandatory slot for one of Alvarez's four 168-pound titles. The Mexican became the undisputed king at 168-pounds when he scored an 11th-round knockout of Plant in November 2021, also at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs) will face WBO mandatory challenger John Ryder on May 6 at Akron Stadium in Zapopan, Mexico, just outside of his hometown of Guadalajara. England’s Ryder (32-5, 18 KOs) won the Canelo sweepstakes last November 26 at O2 Arena in London when countryman Zach Parker (22-1, 16 KOs) quit in the fourth round of a scheduled 12-round contest after suffering an injury.
Should Alvarez defeat Ryder, Benavidez wants to face the four-division champion in September. Alvarez, however, may choose to exercise his rematch clause to face WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs), who dominated Alvarez last May 7 at T-Mobile Arena.
“I feel like Canelo Alvarez, he needs these fights, you know, a big fighter like me,” Benavidez said during his post-fight press conference Saturday. “This is definitely a really big fight. You know, as you can see, me and Caleb Plant was a huge fight. So, I think [Alvarez-Benavidez] would do huge pay-per-view numbers.”
Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs) was trailing on all three scorecards entering the sixth round against Plant (22-1, 13 KOs), but he pressed forward and eventually wore down the former IBF super middleweight champion in the second half and blanked him over the final six rounds to secure the victory.
Benavidez understandably feels he has done more than enough to deserve a shot at Alvarez, but he also understands that boxing is a business.
“And, I mean, let’s just take it back to fighting, man – I wanna prove myself,” Benavidez said of facing Alvarez. “Canelo’s proved himself, but I feel like he needs to give me the opportunity, too. And it’s not like I’m begging for something. I’ve been mandatory for the past two fights. So, it’s something I’ve earned. You know, and especially after this fight, I showed that I deserve to be in there [with Alvarez].
“And, you know, I wasn’t really getting hit as much. You know what I mean? My defense was good. I thought Caleb Plant was faster, so I was really countering, and I was using my head movement and defense good. I know I could get better, but I feel like the only fight that people wanna see in super middleweight is me versus Canelo, so let’s give it to ‘em.”
Phoenix's Benavidez was coming off a 10-month layoff dating back to his third-round destruction of former middleweight titlist David Lemieux last May 21 at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.