By Dan Ambrose: Oscar De La Hoya wants Canelo Alvarez to fight David Benavidez and Jermall Charlo in 2022 because those are the toughest fighters he can face right now.
Oscar says that for Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) to break records, make money, and grab the boxing world’s attention, he needs to face the toughest opposition around his weight class.
It’s widely believed that the former four-division world champion Canelo is currently said to be leaning in the direction of agreeing to the two-fight deal offered to him by promoter Eddie Hearn to face Dmitry Bivol and Gennadiy Golovkin.
Why will Canelo choose Bivol & Golovkin deal?
Bivol is a technical fighter without much hand speed or power and can be efficiently timed by Canelo. Golovkin has only fought three times since his rematch with Canelo in 2018; GGG has fought only three times, playing it safe against Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Kamil Szeremeta, and Steve Rolls.
In April, Golovkin will be turning 40, and many boxing fans feel he’s just looking for paydays at this point in his career.
There is little chance that Canelo will agree to PBC’s $100 million 2-fight deal for him to face Jermall Charlo and David Benavidez because those guys are in their prime and dangerous.
Canelo should face the toughest
Long overdue. If I were in Canelo’s ear, I would go for the toughest guys. I would go for Benavidez and Charlo, obviously,” said Oscar De La Hoya to Fighthype.
“The money that is being offered is almost the same, but I strongly feel that Canelo wants to be great and wants to break records,” said De La Hoya.
“In order for him to do that, hopefully, he’ll pick Benavidez & Charlo and make a lot of money at the same time. So literally, he’s hitting two birds with one stone here.
“He can make a lot of money and fight the very best and continue with his legacy.
“Yeah, I think so,” said De La Hoya when asked if Canelo still needs to fight Gennadiy Golovkin in a trilogy match. “When I said ‘long overdue,’ I think Canelo has only gotten better, and GGG has declined just a bit.
“It would be the perfect moment for Canelo to put the nail on the coffin, so to speak. But I think for legacy where Canelo is at in his career, I strongly feel that he should go after Benavidez and Charlo.
Oscar expects Canelo to choose Bivol & Golovkin
“I think he’ll go for Bivol and GGG,” De La Hoya said when asked who he thinks Canelo will fight in 2022. “Both options are great options. It’s a win-win for everyone.
“Whatever road he takes, it’s a win-win,” said De La Hoya about Canelo’s fights this year.
In other words, De La Hoya believes Canelo will take the softest road in 2022 by going in the direction of the badly flawed WBA 175lb champion Dmitry Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs) and the 40-year-old Gennadiy Golovkin (41- 1-1, 36 KOs).
It’s utterly predictable that Canelo will agree to Hearn’s two-fight deal to face Bivol & Golovkin in 2022, given that it’s a far easier road for him than taking on the dangerous David Benavidez (25-0, 22 KOs) and Jermall Charlo (32 -0, 22 KOs).
After four years of Canelo fighting paper champions from Europe, old guys, and his old sparring partner, he’s not ready to jump in with elite-level opposition at this point.
Essentially, Canelo has fought minor-league-level opposition since his grueling rematch with GGG in 2018. It would be too much of a shock to his system to face talented opposition in Benavidez and Jermall.
Bivol, 31, is right up Canelo’s ally in terms of being flawed and beatable like the paper champions he’s been beating in the last four years.
Although the Russian fighter Bivol had a short window in which he was fighting at a high level between 2017 and 2019, the two years he was out of the ring, from 2019 to 2021, took a lot out of his game.
In Bivol’s two fights since returning to the ring in 2021, he’s looked terrible against British fighter Craig Richards and Umar Salamov.
The way Bivol looks now, he’d lose to many contenders in the 175-lb division and, of course, against Canelo.