David Benavidez Confirms Talks With Saudi Advisor Turki Alalshikh For Fight Against Bivol vs. Beterbiev

By Alan Dawson

AHEAD of his light-heavyweight debut tonight against Oleksandr Gvozdyk at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, David Benavidez confirmed to

Boxing News

that he has held talks with the Saudi advisor Turki Alalshikh.

Alalshikh has been responsible for a wave of super-fights in Saudi Arabia, including Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou, Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou, and Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk. Some Riyadh Season events are being taken on the road now as Alalshikh is sponsoring a show in Los Angeles in August — featuring Terence Crawford vs. Israil Madrimov, a stacked card, and Eminem. There is also a prospective September event in London featuring Anthony Joshua.

One of Alalshikh’s dream fights, he said in a recent Reddit Q&A, puts Benavidez on a collision course with the winner of the October 12 fight between light-heavyweight champions Dmitrii Bivol and Artur Beterbiev.

“[Alalshikh] has been in contact” about that fight, and “he’s been talking to me,” Benavidez exclusively told

Boxing News

recently. “He wants to make that happen.”

The Bivol vs. Beterbiev fight will determine an undisputed champion at light-heavyweight as Bivol has the WBA world title at 175 pounds, and Beterbiev carries the WBC, WBO, and IBF belts. For whoever wins, Benavidez would be a worthy first defence of the undisputed championship.

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 15: Artur Beterbiev and Dmitrill Bivol face off during a press conference ahead of their WBA, WBC, IBF & WBO Light Heavyweight fight at Outernet London on April 15, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Pelham/Getty Images).

It’s not the only mega fight that could be in Benavidez’s future, as he has also been linked with a fight against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez — his preferred opponent over anyone.

“He wants to go back to 168 pounds,” Benavidez’s promoter Sampson Lewkowicz told

Boxing News

. “He wants Canelo.”

Lewkowicz told us that he believes a super fight involving Canelo and Benavidez sells out any US venue in 24 hours, though adds that it is a natural fit for Las Vegas at somewhere like T-Mobile Arena.

Regardless, “beating Beterbiev or Bivol,” Lewkowicz said, “would be great for Benavidez because he’d win all these unified titles,” which is a goal of his.

There is, as of now, no firm offer from Alalshikh for Benavidez to fight one of the two light-heavyweight kings.

“If you allow him to have three or four or five times more money to fight the winner of Beterbiev vs Bivol, he would take the lesser amount to fight Canelo,” Lewkowicz said. “He doesn’t care about the money. He cares about his legacy. And his legacy is to beat Canelo.”

Should the Canelo fight continue to elude Benavidez and his team, Bivol or Beterbiev remains a tremendous back-up plan.

Beating Gvozdyk this weekend would earn him the WBC interim championship “and one step closer to the titles,” Benavidez told us.

“I’m 100% ready for it. They see a big potential match-up with Bivol or Beterbiev, and I’m ready for these challenges.”

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