Benavidez’s future stardom is in Canelo’s hands

Will David Benavídez become a household name in 2024?

The answer to this question could boil down to if he can land and win a fight against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez

Benavidez, a 27-year-old, super middleweight interim champion, is waiting. He has waited for a while, and then some. All for the chance to challenge the best. Yet, the hybrid of his size six-feet, three inches tall, combined with explosive power, has made him an undesirable opponent until 2023. 

This was the year Benavidez finally got opportunities as before he was simply avoided. Benavidez dubbed ‘The Mexican Monster’, by Mike Tyson has had a rocky road for an undefeated professional fighter. 

When Benavidez turned professional at 16 years old, expectations were high given the high quality work he was giving pros like Kelly Pavlik in the gym. He became the youngest super middleweight world champion at 20-years-old, claiming the WBC super middleweight title. Yet, he would lose the title to a drug test. Not for PED, but rather cocaine, that would see him stripped. 

Benavidez regained the title, but lost it once again coming in 2.8-pounds overweight in a title fight. 

Now we enter the present. After years of big fights eluding him, 2023 saw a change. There were two big pay-per-view fights — one against Caleb Plant, another against Demetrius Andrade.

Benavidez only got better with time. 

He handed a loss to Plant in the early months of the year, with his second half of the fight being very one-sided. He stopped Andrade in November to cement the point that he is the marquee super middleweight. 

Benavidez wants Canelo. Now it is up to Canelo. No, Canelo is not scared, but Canelo has options. He can fight a smaller man, Terence Crawford. He could fight Jaime Munguia, if Munguia beats John Ryder. Canelo doesn’t have to do anything. 

Benavidez simply has to do what he has done for so long — wait.

Benavidez had the year he needed. Now he has to see if the opportunity presents itself to take on the face of boxing.  

Oscar De La Hoya, Canelo’s former promoter, and current co-promoter of Jaime Munguia recently called Canelo the king. A moniker Canelo has taken since his Floyd Mayweather fight. De La Hoya explained it is because he can choose who he fights. Something that is obvious, but also ambiguous if it isn’t stated. 

What does Canelo want in his final act? One last legacy fight, or a few attention-seeking bouts with potentially smaller fighters than himself? That is the question.

The outcome will more than likely determine where David Benavídez star shines in the sport of boxing.