The first significant step has been taken to secure a well-earned and life-changing opportunity for David Benavidez.
Sampson Lewkowicz, Benavidez’s promoter, confirmed that he intends to push for a title consolidation clash with undisputed super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. Such a fight has been long desired by the unbeaten former two-time WBC titlist, who currently holds an interim version of the belt and whose team is keen to set forth the process to bring the division’s two best fighters in the ring.
“I had the pleasure and honor of sharing a meeting with @CANELOTEAM (Eddy Reynoso, Alvarez’s longtime trainer and manager) and Luis [DeCubas] Jr. for the championship unification (consolidation) clash,” Lewkowicz revealed Saturday via social media. “Next week, I will send an offer for him to review and make a decision on his future opponent.”
Guadalajara’s Alvarez fully unified the super middleweight division with an eleventh-round knockout of Caleb Plant in November 2021. The fight headlined a Showtime Pay-Per-View event branded by Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) and was put together in large part due to the effort of DeCubas, Plant’s manager who plays an integral role with PBC.
At the time, Alvarez’s only outstanding mandatory was with the WBA, whose secondary title is held by David Morrell (9-0, 8KOs). He scored a third-round knockout of WBC number-one contender Avni Yildirim earlier that February, while Plant outpointed IBF mandatory challenger Caleb Truax in their January 2021 PBC on Fox headliner.
Alvarez-Plant was credited by the WBO as a mandatory title defense and confirmed at the time that Alvarez had eighteen months to satisfy his next such obligation. That matter came earlier this month, when Alvarez outpointed interim WBO super middleweight titlist John Ryder (32-6, 18KOs) over twelve rounds in his Mexico homecoming.
Benavidez (27-0, 23KOs) repositioned himself to fight for his old crown with a third-round knockout of David Lemieux to win the interim WBC super middleweight title last May 21 in Glendale, Arizona. Benavidez was already the WBC mandatory challenger at the time and adamant about the sanctioning body enforcing his status to challenge Alvarez (59-2-2, 39KOs).
Benavidez’s win over Lemieux came two weeks after Alvarez suffered a twelve-round defeat to Dmitry Bivol in a failed WBA light heavyweight title bid. Alvarez was already committed at the time to a third fight with Gennadiy Golovkin, whom he outpointed in their trilogy clash last September 17. Both of the 2022 fights for Alvarez took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Alvarez and Benavidez remain the two best super middleweights in the world following separate wins in 2023. Benavidez confirmed his place as the leading contender after a twelve-round, unanimous decision over Plant on March 26 at Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox