By Sean Jones: David Benavidez says Canelo Alvarez was offered $55 million to fight him alone by PBC, but instead went in the direction of the two-fight deal to fight Dmitry Bivol and Gennady Golovkin in 2022.
Canelo choosing not to take that $55M offer shocked Benavidez because he talks about fighters seeing him a “payday,” but he would have made huge money himself if he’d taken the fight with David.
It’s hard for the average boxing fan to understand how Canelo could turn down that kind of dough for a fight against Benavidez. If Canelo loses to WBA 175lb champion Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs) in their fight on May 7th, he could be kicking himself for not taking the $55M that he was offered to fight Benavidez.
If Canelo is going to lose, he might as well make the most possible money fighting the #1 guy in the division. Benavidez is #1 at 168, and Bivol is arguably #2 or #3 at 175, behind IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev and WBO champion Smith Jr.
Obviously, Canelo has his reasons for not taking the fight with the former two-time WBC super-middleweight champion Benavidez (25-0, 22 KOs), but it’s difficult not to see it as a self-preservation move on his part.
Benavidez would have been a tough out for the 31-year-old Canelo, and a huge leap up in competition compared to the paper champions that he’d been padding his resume with in the last year.
Canelo offered $55 million for Benavidez fight
“It was kind of a shock because I talked to my advisers, and they said for me alone, they were offering him 55 million dollars plus pay-per-view,” said David Benavidez to iFL TV about Canelo Alvarez passing on a huge offer from PBC to fight him next.
“I feel like it’s funny because everybody talks, ‘Payday, payday,’ but this guy [Canelo] is making more of a payday than anybody. I feel like there was more money there, but Canelo Alvarez is his own person and does what he wants.
“To be honest, I’m trying to forget about that fight,” said Benavidez about the Canelo clash. “I don’t feel like the fight [is going to happen]. I was supposed to get it a year ago, a year and a half ago, that’s what they’ve been telling me.
“I’m just going to forget about that fight right now, and I’m going to try and take care of what’s on my side. You’ve got [Demetrius] Andrade, Caleb Plant, you’ve got David Lemieux, and hopefully [Jermall] Charlo if he goes up to 168.
“I feel like that’s the best route I can take right now. Just worry about this side, try and clean up this side, and then we’ll see what happens from there,” Benavidez said.
It’s best that Benavidez put Canelo completely out of his mind because that fight might not ever come around, and it’s pointless for him to be hoping that someday he’ll fight him.
If Canelo wanted to fight Benavidez, he would have fought him when he still held the WBC 168-lb title because he had plenty of time to fight him.
Benavidez feels he’s earned the Canelo fight
“I feel like it’s enough. I’ve been two-time world champion already, and that’s why they rank you,” continued Benavidez. “Isn’t that why they rank,” said Benavidez when asked if he’s done enough during his career to warrant a fight against Canelo Alvarez.
“I’ve been #2 and #3, and now I’ve been #1 for two fights. If a #1 seed doesn’t earn the fight, I don’t know what else to tell you,” said Benavidez about whether he’s earned a fight against Canelo.
“It’s fine but like I’m saying, I’ve been trying to earn the fight [against Canelo]. I’ve been trying to fight all these other guys. I’ve been calling all these other guys out for a year and a half already, but it’s hard to earn it when nobody wants to fight you.
“I’m just left with I don’t know what to do. But like I’m saying, I just need to keep fighting the guys in front of me, and hopefully, I’ll land a big fight with somebody soon,” said Benavidez.
Lemieux next up
“Yeah,,” definitely said Benavidez when asked if 2022 ends with him as a three-time world champion. “I’m training extremely hard. After I get that belt, I’m going to be putting pressure on all these other fighters.
“I feel like We’re both at this crossing point where he wants to get back and be a world champion, and I want to get back to be a world champion,” Benavidez said about his May 21st fight against David Lemieux.
“I feel like both of our motivation is there because we both have the same motivation because he’s towards the end of his career, and I’m this threshold where I want to get through in my career. I want to make a big name for myself.
“That’s why I feel it just feels like ‘fight of the year.’ I’m going in there very motivated and I know he’s very motivated,” said Benavidez about his fight with Lemieux.
“We both got a lot of knockouts, and expect it to be a bloody and violent fight. I’m not backing down, and I feel like this fight is going to be the person with the most heart and I’m going to come out victorious.
“Our focus was to get the big fights after we got that fight with Kyrone Davis. Since the WBC made it the mandatory for me and David Lemieux, that’s kind of the only fight that was put together,” Benavidez said.
Benavidez says Plant is intimidated by him
“We’d been looking for Caleb Plant, we’d been looking for [Jermall] Charlo, we’d been looking for all those guys, but none of those guys were available,” said Benavidez.
“He called me ‘Fat,’ he hurt my feelings,” said Benavidez in joking about an insult from Plant. “But that’s the only thing he can say. Like I said, this fat boy has power and has way more knockouts than he does.
“I feel like I intimidate him,‘ said Benavidez about his belief that he scares Caleb Plant. “Everybody knows, everybody can see it that I don’t like him, and he doesn’t like me. Once we get that fight in, I’m definitely going to put a hurting on him.
“It seems like that but I’ve been trying to get that fight for the last two years, and I feel like I don’t know what’s going on,” said Benavidez about his inability to get the plant fight. It should be really easy to happen.
“Even when he fought Caleb Truax, we fought at the same time, and the fight didn’t happen. Now, we could have made this fight happen vs. me and him for the interim title, and it didn’t happen.
“Now, he’s fighting with Anthony Dirrell. I tried to get a verbal agreement from him and his team that if everything goes good with both of our fights, maybe we get a fight for September or November. That didn’t happen. It’s like one excuse after another.
“Every time he says something, he tries to go back on me, ‘Oh, he lost his belt twice, this and that.’ Man, if I was such an easy target and so undedicated like everybody says I am, then why doesn’t anybody want to fight me? Because they’re all scared.
“Obviously, I’ve made my mistakes, but I’ve never made my mistakes in the ring. I’m 25-0 with 22 knockouts. I’m ready and they know I’m ready, and that’s why they don’t want to get in the ring with me.
David not going to let Charlo punk him
“I’m a nice guy and I’m calm and stuff, but I’m not going to let nobody play like I’m ap****,” said Benavidez in reacting to his beef with Jermall Charlo. “I’m not going to let nobody talk to me about the way I don’t want them to talk to me.
“I feel like this is the thing about boxing. You can be nice, but these dudes try to press you like you’re scared of them. We’re all boxers and all fighters. What the f*** am I going to be scared about?
“I don’t think anybody is scared, but some people trying to punk you like you’re scared of them. I’m not scared of these dudes, bro. We can get inside the ring or outside of the ring, it don’t matter to me,” Benavidez said.