LAS VEGAS – Sampson Lewkowicz wants Canelo Alvarez to fight David Benavidez next, not in September.
David Benavidez’s promoter challenged Alvarez to finally fight Benavidez during the immediate aftermath of his fighter’s impressive stoppage of Demetrius Andrade on Saturday night at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena. Benavidez became the WBC’s mandatory challenger for one of Alvarez’s four belts by defeating Andrade, though that hasn’t convinced Lewkowicz that Alvarez will battle Benavidez on May 4, the date Alvarez is expected to return to the ring.
“Let me get the statement for Canelo – regardless of the result, if Canelo fight Benavidez, he’ll be an idol, if he fight him,” Lewkowicz said. “If he doesn’t fight him, he will not be ever an idol. Now, regardless, if he wins, he’ll be the best and if he lose he have the balls to go with the best. So, Canelo, don’t run anymore! And whoever say – I’ll tell you what – I’ll give you a thousand dollars now if you tell me any other fight beside Canelo and Benavidez. Give me another fight that everybody wants.”
Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) wants nothing more than to challenge Alvarez next, yet “The Mexican Monster” understands that it is very well possible that he’ll have to fight another top-level opponent if Alvarez opts to battle unbeaten WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo (33-0, 22 KOs) or undefeated fellow Mexican Jaime Munguia (42-0, 33 KOs) on May 4.
“I been winning the fights I’m supposed to win in fantastic fashion,” Benavidez said. “He has nobody else to fight. You know what I mean? So, if they wanna give it to me now, later, whenever, I’m not going nowhere.”
Benavidez acknowledged during an interview with BoxingScene.com before he faced Andrade that he heard Alvarez wants to face him in the third fight of his three-bout agreement with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions. Alvarez has fought only once – a unanimous points win against Jermell Charlo on September 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas – since he agreed to the abovementioned three-fight deal with Haymon.
The 26-year-old Benavidez beat former champions Andrade (32-1, 19 KOs) and Caleb Plant (22-2, 13 KOs) in back-to-back bouts this year. The two-time WBC 168-pound champion from Phoenix, who twice surrendered his belt without losing a fight, has therefore earned his opportunity to face Alvarez in what would be the biggest fight of his 10-year career.
Whereas Benavidez has been respectful toward Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs), a four-division champion and boxing’s biggest star, Lewkowicz needled the 33-year-old Mexican legend late Saturday night.
“Canelo say that he will not fight a Mexican,” Lewkowicz said while talking to Benavidez on the dais. “So, how about next time if you go with the Ecuadorian flag? But not only that, let me tell you another thing – he promised that he will never fight another Mexican. This what he say, but I know that he’s [negotiating] with Munguia, and we are from the same company. But enough is enough. Come over Canelo and show me how macho you are.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.