The boxing universe is no stranger to iconic duels, but the prospective clash between Canelo Alvarez and David Benavidez promises to be nothing short of legendary. Eddie Hearn’s recent revelations only intensify the excitement surrounding the bout. Talking to Fighthype, Hearn opined, “When you contemplate the future of Canelo, you inevitably gravitate towards the genuine challenges looming on the horizon.”
In the context of formidable adversaries for Canelo, Hearn places his bet firmly on Benavidez. The WBC interim super middleweight champion is being touted to halt the momentum of two-division champ Demetrius Andrade. Should Hearn’s forecasts hold, it will invariably steer the boxing compass towards a tantalizing Benavidez-Canelo confrontation. “Benavidez taking on Andrade is not just a good fight—it’s a potential game-changer. My anticipation is that Benavidez will halt Demetrius Andrade’s rise, and in doing so, he’ll present a compelling case for a match against Canelo Alvarez.”
Canelo, as the reigning undisputed champion, finds himself under a microscope. The WBC’s directive is clear: a title defense against Benavidez by the forthcoming March. As for Canelo, bouts with Terence Crawford or a rematch with Dmitry Bivol seem off the table. Opting for a face-off with the currently inactive middleweight champion, Jermall Charlo, might see him facing a barrage of criticism, a situation that Hearn equates to “stepping into a bullfight unarmed.”
For Andrade, the stakes couldn’t be higher. The common consensus in boxing circles hints at the arduous task he faces in trying to outbox Benavidez, especially given Andrade’s tactical movement inside the ring. Benavidez’s tenacity was on full display against Caleb Plant. Despite being befuddled by Plant’s dexterous movement in the early phases, Benavidez’s patience and deadly combinations eventually shone through once Plant’s energy levels dipped.
The boxing fraternity respects those who bring intensity and passion into the ring. Hearn commented on this, stating, “Passivity can be a boxer’s worst enemy, something evident with Canelo Alvarez’s recent opponents.” He goes on to praise fighters like Caleb Plant and Billy Joe Saunders who exhibited no reservations or apprehensions against Canelo. “They ventured where many hesitate, and in Benavidez, I see a similar fire and spirit,” Hearn added.
As intriguing as a Benavidez vs. Dmitry Bivol fight might sound to the purists, Hearn thinks it’s more of a pipe dream. Ruminations of Benavidez’s hesitance to face David Morrell Jr., coupled with whispers of his sparring sessions with Bivol, have kept the rumor mills churning.
Meanwhile, Terence Crawford emerges as a possible contender for Canelo. Yet, Hearn, dissecting the dynamics, asserted, “While Crawford possesses the heart of a champion and an undying will to prevail, I’m not convinced about the weight class compatibility. He’s an incredible athlete, but perhaps not the right fit for Canelo.” This viewpoint aligns with Crawford’s expressed intentions to prioritize high-revenue bouts, akin to the path treaded by Jermell Charlo.
Though debates rage about Benavidez’s ability to dethrone Canelo, Hearn, reflecting on Alvarez’s recent bouts, especially the one against Jermell Charlo, expressed reservations. “Saul’s pride is his strength and perhaps, his vulnerability. It’s tough to gauge his current form or forecast his longevity in the sport,” Hearn mused. He didn’t miss the chance, however, to laud Canelo for their past collaborations: “Our partnership was memorable. His camaraderie with Eddy Reynoso was infectious, and together, they were a joy to work with, both inside and outside the ring.”
But the narratives don’t end with Canelo and Benavidez. The plot thickens as Hearn navigates the tumultuous waters of arranging a match between the victor of Devin Haney vs. Regis Prograis and the formidable Ryan Garcia. Given Ryan’s affiliations with Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN, the logistics seem feasible. However, Oscar De La Hoya’s unexpected curveball of pitching Ryan Garcia against WBO light welterweight sensation Teofimo Lopez adds another layer of complexity, especially considering the network dynamics and potential contractual hurdles with Lopez.
Hearn’s admiration for both Haney and Prograis is palpable. Reflecting on the prospective match-ups, he stated, “The Devin Haney – Ryan Garcia fight has been on everyone’s wishlist. But if Prograis can topple Haney, he suddenly catapults himself into the echelons of boxing royalty.”
Whether it’s the sheer magnetism of a Canelo vs. Benavidez duel or the electric energy of a Haney vs. Prograis showdown, aficionados are in for an exhilarating roller-coaster ride. Echoing the sentiments of countless fans, Hearn encapsulates the mood, “We’re gearing up for a monumental epoch in boxing. The bell is set to ring, and history beckons.”