‘Canelo says he wants 200 million, but I already did my work’ – David Benavidez moving on, for now…

SAUL ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is at the peak of his powers and has the pick of his opponents. Jaime Munguia (box ticked on Saturday night), Edgar Berlanga, Jermall Charlo and more.

Yet one man’s name is inextricably linked to Canelo. David Benavidez remains the fight fans’ opponent of choice. The one they all want to see him tackle next.

A natural rivalry that has matured and developed from afar. Complementary styles destined to produce fireworks. Described by Mike Tyson as the “Mexican monster”, Benavidez walks forward, chews people up and spits them out.

As he limbers up for a clash with Oleksandr Gvozdyk, the Phoenix finisher is fit, focused and refreshed for his June 15 assignment in a new weight class.

“I feel really good. I’ve spent a long time at the same weight, and now I think it’s the perfect time to do this. I’m training hard, I’m really motivated, it’s a great card and we’re ready for the fight,” said Benavidez as he acclimatises to light-heavyweight, for now…

“I’m growing, I’m getting bigger, doing a bit more weight training. I’m training a lot and I’m ready for this fight. I’ve been training for three months, and I still have a month and a half to go before I’m 100 per cent ready for the fight.”

Moving up to 175 pounds is not the only switch Benavidez has made. Relocating from Seattle to Miami, after buying a house in the area, has led Benavidez to train in a new environment. Legendary gym mates like Guillermo Rigondeaux and Andre Dirrell provide plenty of learning opportunities and assistance during camp.

He’ll need every last ounce of wisdom if King Canelo is to be dislodged from his throne. Regardless of which division it happens in, fighting the Mexican icon remains on top of David’s hit list.

“I was in position for three years, I’m his mandatory. He’s saying he wants 200 million to fight me [or more], but I already did my work,” said a bullish Benavidez.

“He doesn’t want to fight me. There’s nothing I can do. We’re going up in weight. We’ll see what happens later. The fans are calling for this fight. It’s the only fight they all want to see. I hope it can happen in the future, but now I’m focused on the fight I have on the 15th of June.”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MAY 04: Jaime Munguia lands a right against Canelo Alvarez in their super middleweight championship title fight at T-Mobile Arena on May 04, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

On May 4 in Las Vegas, Benavidez was ringside to once again witness Canelo’s greatness first-hand. Adapting and adjusting, Canelo, 33, dropped the latest pretender, Jaime Munguia, in round four with a sizzling uppercut.

The fight’s trajectory swiftly spun in a different direction. In round 12, Canelo stunned Munguia once more. Rather than stepping in for the kill, Alvarez seemingly stepped off and allowed Jaime to see out the fight and continue his career with a single blemish on the record – on points rather than by stoppage.

Defending all four belts at 168, Canelo has comfortably slotted into super-middleweight after an unsuccessful flirtation with 175. Defeating a faded Sergey Kovalev was one thing.

Returning to the division against Dmitry Bivol showed that size matters and that weight classes exist for a reason. Despite his sizeable frame, perhaps Benavidez would be open to dropping seven pounds to make the super fight happen.

“If they say the fight has been made, I’ll come down, but if not, there’s no reason to come down,” reasoned ‘El Bandera Roja’.

“Well, to be honest, I think it can be made. The only thing we need is for Canelo to decide if he wants the fight. It’s not difficult; everyone wants it, so let’s see what happens.

“I do still think it could happen in September but we’re going to win this fight first [versus Gvozdyk], and let’s see what happens then.”

Canelo stated post-Munguia that a Benavidez clash would come down to cold, hard cash, so David floated the possibility of a crowdfunding venture to get it over the line.

“I was joking, but if that’s what’s needed to make the fight, it has to be made,” grinned Benavidez, who grinds victims down to head and body, just like his modern-day nemesis – in Mexican style.

“Well, I think I represent Mexican fighters. I trade, I like to fight. I think Canelo does the same, so we both have the same style,” he added.

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