Who does Canelo Alvarez fight next after John Ryder

Canelo Alvarez returned to Mexico this past weekend, Saturday, May 6th, by getting a twelve-round unanimous decision over a very tough and game John Ryder. The bout which was a pay-per-view main event, served as a homecoming for one of the greatest Mexican boxers of the modern era, to get to have his flowers during the tail-end of his career.  

As Canelo is still the face of boxing it was clear this fight week the end is insight. The future stars of the sport such as Gervonta Davis are having no issues reaching for the label of the top dog in the sport. Meanwhile, Canelo Alvarez had his third performance that didn’t meet most observers expectations or hopes leading into the bout.

Now as Alvarez, who holds all four super middleweight world titles heads into the final act of his hall-of-fame career, the big question looms; who is next? As when this is answered, it will tell us a lot about the direction that Canelo is going moving forward with his final act.

Let’s look at possible opponents for Canelo for the September fight date, he loves to fight.

Dmitry Bivol

The most logical next step for Canelo Alvarez, if we are being honest is Dmitry Bivol. Canelo Alvarez’s supposed decline over his last three fights all began with the long-reigning WBA light heavyweight world title, Dmitry Bivol, who has held his title for five-and-a-half years, outboxed the smaller Canelo, via a unanimous decision win, a year ago. This came on the heels of the historic run Canelo went on in 2021 ending with his four-belt undisputed unification win over Caleb Plant.

Canelo, who had previously defeated Sergey Kovalev at light heavyweight, looked to continue on the historic run he was on, but couldn’t as Bivol was too much for him.

After his win on Saturday night, Canelo had the following to say.  

"Everybody knows we want Bivol, the rematch with Bivol,” said Canelo 

Canelo also stated if he fights Dmitry Bivol, he wants to fight him at light heavyweight for Bivol’s title and not at super middleweight which would be for his four-belt undisputed world titles. Bivol wants the bout at super middleweight for all of Canelo's titles, which could create a divide that makes the bout not happen. 

David Benavidez

Benavidez is a massive puncher and a young fighter, who seemingly the fans and critics want to see Canelo's face. Benavidez has looked the part of a modern superstar with exciting performances and his pay-per-view debut against Caleb Plant, in which Benavidez won a twelve-round decision, set Benavidez’s trajectory very high. As veteran Showtime broadcaster, Raul Marquez told ProBox TV News that if Benavidez were able to defeat Canelo, he’d be a pound-for-pound fighter in the sport.

Benavidez is the current mandatory for Canelo’s WBC super middleweight title as well.

One of the biggest barriers is a potential network conflicts as David Benavidez has a deal with Showtime and Premier Boxing Champions via his promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz, and in recent memory Canelo Alvarez has mostly fought on DAZN cards promoted by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing. It is unclear if this fight would have a clear path to be made by all sides politically at this time. Though in 2021, Canelo fought Caleb Plant on a Showtime pay-per-view in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Edgar Berlanga

The recent Matchroom Boxing signee, who left his longtime promoter, Top Rank Inc, is looking to land a Canelo fight, and has been calling for it for years. Berlanga returns on June 24th to face Jason Quigley. One might wonder if Berlanga were to rekindle his first-round KO magic, and call out Canelo Alvarez, could the man who made a fantastic run with sixteen first-round KOs be able to land a Canelo Alvarez fight?

Upon achievements, I would say no, but Berlanga can sell a lot of tickets in New York City, and it ignites the Mexico versus Puerto Rico boxing rivalry, so if things go south with Bivol and Benavidez, Berlanga might have a good shot at getting a Canelo fight if he performs to a high-level at the end of next month. 

David Morrell

Morrell is the top contender in the WBA super middleweight rankings, a decorated Cuban amateur, who has become a top-five super middleweight in only a handful of fights - nine to be exact.

Morrell is calling out all of the biggest names in the division, which are Canelo Alvarez and David Benavidez. Morrell is eyeballing a bout with Benavidez in recent interviews, but Morrell would jump at the chance to face Canelo.

The problem for Morrell is - he is a high-risk, low-reward fighter, who the face of the sport of boxing - Canelo Alvarez, will more than likely not go out of his way to give a major opportunity to. Morrell seems to be one of the most avoided fighters in the sport, currently. 

Vladimir Shishkin

Though Christian MBilli and William Scull are ranked higher than Shishkin, it is notable that Shiskin’s name has been thrown around with Canelo Alvarez’s name for a year now. Shishkin is an undefeated super middleweight promoted by Salita Promotions, who last fought in the co-main event on Showtime Championship Boxing defeating former world champion, Jose Uzcategui, in December of 2022.

After the fight, Shishkin kept bringing up Canelo Alvarez’s name, and the Russian fighter, who is now based out of Detroit, Michigan, is a real dark horse to land the fight of his life, if a series of events unfold right for him. Shishkin seems like he is a fight or two away realistically, but the fact that so much talk about him facing Canelo has emerged over the course of the past two years creates a bit of intrigue.