Will Jose Benavidez Jr. Meet Canelo Before David Benavidez?
In his last tour of duty, undisputed super middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KO’s) satisfied the first of three matches that he’d contracted with the PBC. For this premiere assignment, Alvarez took on and easily outpointed undisputed super welterweight champion Jermell Charlo. Many feel that WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo stands a great chance to get the second slot. Yet, is there a chance that Charlo’s next opponent, Jose “El Phoenix” Benavidez Jr (28-2-1, 19 KO’s), steals the gig?
When the duel with Charlo was initially announced, the greater majority of the boxing world assumed that it was Jermall rather than Jermell. This is due to middleweight champion Jermall being the larger fighter. Even now, despite him being a technically logical choice, there is a glaring downside to Charlo getting the nod for the Canelo fight. This concern is rooted in Jermall Charlo’s excess of two solid years of inactivity.
TOO LITTLE TOO LATE?
To shake off the rust, Iron Man will next test his might versus Jose Benavidez Jr. on December 9. Clearly, there is no way to determine what version of Charlo hits the ring in his next prizefight. Yet, we do know that Iron Man has been grappling with mental and familial turmoil throughout the majority of his time away from the sport. Therefore, it does not require the biggest leap of imagination to envision Charlo performing in less than impressive fashion.
This could prove to be problematic when chucking knuckles with Benavidez’s. To begin, El Phoenix has remained more active than Charlo and just fought on August 12. Also, the older brother of two-time super middleweight champion David Benavidez compiled a rather impressive amateur career and still retains the skillset.
In fact, before getting stopped by the current undisputed welterweight champion of the world, Terence Crawford, Benavidez Jr. provided the skilled boxer with a handful of problems. Therefore, if El Phoenix was to topple the long-stagnant Charlo, it should not come as a jaw-dropping shock.
ITS JUST BUSINESS
In terms of Canelo, he has proven time and time again that he’s willing to take the path of least resistance. His last bout against the aforementioned Jermell Charlo, instead of a super middleweight competitor, was versus an opponent two divisions south of his current 168-pound headquarters. Similarly, well back in 2012, Alvarez had no compunction about facing Josesito Lopez after Lopez secured an upset win over Victor Ortiz. Here again, Canelo fought a fighter two divisions his junior. Canelo first chewed on Lopez and dropped him numerous times before stopping him in the fifth. Canelo also brought Amir Khan up two divisions and nearly beheaded him back on May 7, 2016.
Given his track record of facing smaller opposition, its not unfathomable that Canelo may face another lighter fighter. A match up between him and welterweight Terence Crawford is a buzzing in the minds of many boxing fans. Said to say, if Benavidez Jr. roughs up and dominates Charlo in impressive fashion, it would not be outside the realm of reason to see El Phoenix parlaying that win into the biggest fight of his career.
Of course, that would be bitter-sweet for David Benavidez who has maintained himself as Canelo’s mandatory for the past couple of years. Stranger things have happened in the sport of boxing though. So, first let’s see what takes place when Jermall Charlo returns to the ring against Jose Benavidez Jr.. The winner of this match could very well be hitting the Canelo mega-millions lottery.