Leonard Ellerbe: ‘I’m Not Buying The Bulls**t That Canelo Is Scared Of Benavidez’

David Benavidez and his supporters have painted a picture that undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez is scared of fighting him. 

One of the sport’s leading promoters is not sold on the narrative. 

“The fans have been wanting to see Benavidez and Canelo fight. I don't think that fight is out of the question down the line, but I’m not buying the bullshit that Canelo is scared of Benavidez. It’s a money thing,” Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe told BoxingScene. 

Ellerbe will get an up close and personal look at “The Mexican Monster” when Benavidez takes on Oleksandr Gvozdyk in the co-main event of the card headlined by WBA lightweight champion Gervonta Davis (29-0, 27 KOs) and Frank Martin (18-0, 12 KOs) on Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Prime Video and

Alvarez has stated that he would require a pot of at least $200 million to fight Benavidez. After deeming the demand farfetched, Benavidez now believes the fight is more realistic. 

“Canelo is my guy. He’s done everything you can ask of a fighter – he fights everybody,” said Ellerbe. “He’s earned the right to fight whoever he likes. He shows up and shows out. He’s been great for the sport and great for his country. I have great admiration for him.”

After working against Alvarez as Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s right-hand man in the 2013 super fight, Ellerbe has grown closer to the Mexican star as Alvarez has headlined Premier Boxing Champions events in three out of his last six fights. 

PBC was working to give Davis and Benavidez separate headlining dates, but they ultimately decided to pair them to form a dynamic knockout duo. 

“It's a tremendous card from top to bottom. I'm pumped for this,” said Ellerbe. “Ya'll want to see the biggest names in the biggest fans, and here we are. It's a win-win for the fans. David Benavidez is a main event fighter, and we all know that. It's a tremendous opportunity for him to fight and showcase his skills on the same night with the face of boxing in Tank Davis. Everyone will be watching. David is one of the sport's top and most exciting guys.” Ellerbe is bullish on Benavidez but even more so on Davis.

“When you look at the younger generation, there is one name that rings everywhere: Tank Davis,” said Ellerbe. “He's the most exciting and dominant fighter in the entire world. When he steps into the ring, he wants to make sure he gets their ass out of there. He doesn't want unanimous decisions. He gives fans exactly what they want to see with an edge-of-the-seat performance. You know he's going to get a knockout at some point in the fight, and it will be no different Saturday night.” 

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] or via