Is it time for Saul “Canelo” Alvarez to move over to make room for the next generation fighters? Will the next generation simply push the Mexican superstar aside? At 32, is Alvarez almost done as an elite-level main stage boxing presence?
From listening to Jose Benavidez Sr., father of David Benavidez, the answer to all three questions is “yes.”
In a recent interview with Fighthype.com, the always vocal trainer asserts that Alvarez, the reigning unified super middleweight champ, has a lot of mileage on him and is ripe for the taking, especially by his son David. He also makes the case that distraction has affected Canelo’s game, stating that golf, outside business interests, and even a newfound taste for booze is bringing the pound-for-pound fighter down.
“David is better than Canelo Alvarez, and the reason I say that is because Canelo has been fighting since he was 16 years old,” Benavidez Sr. said. “You know what? He has a lot of miles, he fought a lot of people.
“I think he’s worn out and has a lot of miles because of the training camps. He’s put so many miles in his training camps. He’s been super disciplined and working super hard. Right now, I think he’s drinking a little more now because before, he was so disciplined. You never seen Canelo drink.
“He’s playing a lot of golf, and he has a lot of businesses. So, I think 100%, he’s not there in boxing no more. David is 100% in boxing and younger.
“I’ve been studying Canelo for five years, and I see everything that he does. He does have a lot of miles on his body. He lost. He did not look that well when he fought GGG [last September], and look when he fought Caleb Plant.
“Against Bivol, he loses, and he’s getting injured now. Come on, the body can only go so far, and that’s why I say about the miles and the hard work he puts in. I’m not talking bad about him.
“He’s in the position where the body does not want to go no more. I’m not talking bad. No, no, no, no. He [Canelo] was young once, but he has to pass the torch over to somebody else,” Benavidez Sr. added.
One could point out that David Benavidez also turned pro at 16 and, therefore, would have similar mileage on his body. He’s also had some dalliances with a partying lifestyle, once earning a suspension for testing positive for cocaine. Benavidez, though, is still only 26, so he’s six years fresher than Alvarez.
Benavidez Sr. has been talking up a big-money clash with Alvarez for years already and has been alternating between public call-outs and “it’s time to move on” rhetoric when it comes to landing that big opportunity for his son.
The young Benavidez, who is a two-time super middleweight champ, is probably at the highest point of his professional life right now. On March 25, he passed the biggest test of his career with flying colors when he put a beating on Caleb Plant en route to a unanimous decision victory.
Post-win, the Canelo fight talk predictably resumed.
Alvarez, however, is currently tied up with other plans. On May 6, the four-division world champ is set to take on British battler John Ryder in a homecoming bout at Akron Stadium in his hometown of Guadalajara. This will be the first time he’s fought in Mexico since 2011. After that, the buzz is that he may face Dmitry Bivol in a September rematch to avenge his second career loss.
Benavidez, meanwhile, has been tied to a rumored bout with Cuban rising star and WBA “regular” world champ David Morrell, who is slated to appear on the April 22 Gervonta Davis-Ryan Garcia undercard.