David Benavidez is not sitting on his hands waiting to win the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez sweepstakes.

Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) is looking to make his 175lbs debut by securing a fight with former light heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk in June, it was revealed on Thursday. They will contest the WBC interim light heavyweight title, the WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman announced.

The undisputed super-middleweight champion Alvarez is considering his options ahead of his return on May 4. Although the WBC’s super-middleweight mandatory challenger Benavidez is sitting front and center as his most deserving opponent, Alvarez is exploring and exhausting his alternatives.

Benavidez’s father and trainer Jose Benavidez Sr. is trying to remain patient throughout the entire process.

“David will fight anybody,” said Benavidez Sr. “The thing is, will they fight him? Whoever steps in, we're ready. We want to give the fans great fights.

“Canelo is almost on his way out, so we just have to stay patient, keep working, and stay focused… Canelo doesn't want anything to do with David. Every time he comes up with excuses. He wants to fight [Jaime] Munguia, and [Jermall] Charlo and says David has fought nobody. Those are just excuses. He and his team will do anything to stay away from David ... There is nothing we can do but just stay humble and focused, and our time will come. 

“The Canelo era is turning into a circus, to be honest with you. The true 168lbs king, the face of boxing, trying to fight 160s, 154s, 147s – that's ridiculous. That's not good for boxing. That's not cool. That's why Canelo's fans are coming over to David now. Imagine if we were doing that and fighting the little guys. Imagine us trying to fight Terence Crawford? My respect to Terence Crawford, but that's a little guy. There is no way Crawford can beat him ... [Alvarez is] getting criticized but he doesn't give a f***. He doesn't care. He just wants to make money. 

“[Alvarez] talks a lot of s*** about David. But that's the fight everyone wants to see. Why doesn't he want to fight ‘The Monster’? At the end of the day, he's scared to face David.”

Alvarez’s career-long coach and confidant Eddy Reynoso refuted claims this week from Benavidez’s promoter Sampson Lewkowicz that a $55m bid was made for Alvarez to fight Benavidez. 

“I find it in very bad taste that they say that Canelo is afraid of him,” Reynoso told ESPN. “I don't know how they dare to classify a fighter as fearful who did not hesitate to face Floyd Mayweather, who faced Miguel Cotto, who faced the fearsome Gennady Golovkin when he had knocked out half the world, who rose to light-heavyweight risking everything to face Dmitrii Bivol. The reality is that none of the big promoters have given me an offer to fight Benavidez.”

As the Alvarez encounter seemingly continues to escape him, Benavidez has still kept busy with high-profile fights. 

The 27-year-old beat Caleb Plant via unanimous decision and stopped Demetrius Andrade last year, when he was shortlisted for fighter-of-the-year honors. 

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.