By Sean Jones: David Benavidez says he wants to face Saul Canelo Alvarez, Caleb Plant, Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders after he wins his WBC super middleweight title back against champion Anthony Dirrell this Saturday night on Fox Sports Pay-Per-View.
The unbeaten former WBC 168-lb champion Benavidez (21-0, 18 KOs) is challenging current champion Dirrell (33-1-1, 24 KOs) in the co-feature bout on the Errol Spence Jr. vs. Shawn Porter at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Benavidez hopes Canelo will fight him
The fight that the 22-year-old Benavidez really wants is Canelo Alvarez. That’s a match that could transform the young Benavidez into a star if he could get it. Canelo has wisely shown no interest in fighting Benavidez. When Canelo did recently fight for a world title at 168, he took the safe fight against WBA ‘regular’ champion Rocky Fielding. For the time being, Canelo is moving up to light heavyweight to challenge WBO champion Sergey Kovalev on November 2. For Canelo’s next fight in May 2020, he could be facing WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders.
Matchroom Boxing USA promoter Eddie Hearn is sounding confident that he’s going to be able to put together a fight between Canelo and Saunders for the Cinco de Mayo holiday weekend next May on DAZN. Benavidez isn’t being mentioned at all for a potential fight against Canelo next year.
“Definitely, that’s a fight that we got to make in the future; Caleb Plant, Callum Smith, Billy Joe Saunders, and if we can get a Canelo in there, that’s definitely a fight that we want to get,” said Benavidez to Fighthype. “My goal is to be the best super middleweight in the world, and that’s what we’re going to do. Well, GGG fights at 160, and he’s with DAZN. That’s a little out of our reach, but if we could get something done right there, most definitely that’s something we could do.
Benavidez says fans will demand the big name DAZN fighters face him
“The fans are going to demand it soon,” said Benavidez about him facing the DAZN fighters. “If I’m the fighter that I think I’m going to be, and the fans want to see me, then they’re going to demand it, and it’s going to be easy to get made. It’ll be like Joshua was with [Andy] Ruiz. There are only so many big star fights that can be made. My job is to just work hard, and win the fights, and we’ll see what happens from there,” said Benavidez.
Gennady Golovkin has used Benavidez as sparring help in the past. He might not want to fight him, because the two are friends. But it’s a different story with DAZN fighters Billy Joe Saunders, Canelo, Callum Smith and Demtrius Andrade. Benavidez wants to fight them, and there’s no reason those matches can’t be made.
Benavidez: Caleb Plant’s day will come
“I feel he’s still mad because only 50 people showed up at his fight at the MGM Grand,” said Benavidez about Caleb Plant. “If he’s a superior fighter, why did only 50 people show up? They didn’t even put him in the co-main event. So he’s mad about that. Look at me for when my last fight that I fought, there were 50,000 people there, so I don’t have to speak on that. The day is going to come where we’re going to see who’s the best,” said Benavidez.
IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant (19-0, 11 KOs) is likely going to be kept far away from Benavidez for a while. Plant’s recent title defense rock bottom ranked Mike Lee last July is a strong indication that his management isn’t going to put him in against tough opposition that could beat him. Benavez will likely be off limits for Plant, as he should be. Plant would have big problems against Benavidez.
“It’s going to be a great fight. They like to see wars, and that’s what I’m going to give them,” said Benavidez about his fight against Dirrell this Saturday. “I want to be the fighter like Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad. When they fight, it basically becomes a holiday. Everyone gathers around the house, and it basically becomes a celebration.
“That’s the type of fighter that I want to be. When the fans come to my fights, they’ll be like, ‘Damn, I got my money’s worth. I want to go watch him again.’ If I get that opportunity to fight May 5th [on Cinco de Mayo 2020], the opportunity is going to come. All I’ve got to do is work hard, do my job, and give the fans the fights they want to see. It’ll come in time,” said Benavidez.
Benavidez wants to emulate GGG and Gervonta Davis
I feel like I need to get spectacular knockouts like Gervonta Davis,” said Benavidez when asked how he can become a star. “Every time that dude fights, he knocks somebody out…If not knockouts, then great fights that the fans want to see. The wars the fans want to see like the fights GGG gives. That’s my style. I never ran away from a fight. I’m not a boxer. I’m going to be here  for a while. I want to get all the big fights that you guys are talking about. Until I get all those fights, I’m going to go up to 175. I just want to be the champion again. I just want to get my belt back, and whatever happens happens,” said Benavidez.
Before Benavidez lost his WBC title a year ago, he was on course to become a big name. He’d looked good in his wins over Ronald Gavril and Rogelio Medina. Recently, Benavidez rolled over J’Leon Love in stopping him in the 2nd round on March 16 in the co-feature bout on the Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia card on Fox Sports PPV at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
What Benavidez needs now is to start fighting better opposition. He’s challenging 34-year-old Dirrell this Saturday night, but this isn’t expected to be much of a test for him. Dirrell is faded at this point in his career, as we saw in his last fight against Avni Yildirim. Benavidez should win fairly easily as long as he puts the pressure on Dirrell, and doesn’t try and box him. Dirrell can’t handle pressure well, and he never has.
— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) September 26, 2019