WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman says David Benavidez will be undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez’s mandatory challenger for March. However, Sulaiman will allow Canelo (60-2-2, 39 KOs) to fight in May without ordering him to face Benavidez.

A Hollow “Mandatory” Title for Benavidez

Sulaiman’s confirmation of WBC interim 168-lb champion Benavidez as Canelo’s mandatory in March doesn’t solve anything, considering there’s no deadline date for when Alvarez must face him.

Mauricio told Pro Boxing Fans that the WBC will make Benavidez the official mandatory for Canelo in March, but not saying when the fight will be ordered.

It would be more meaningful if Sulaiman gave a drop dead date for when Canelo must face the 27-tear-old Benavidez. Sulaiman isn’t going to do that, and the reason is obvious.

If he puts the superstar Canelo’s back against the wall, he’ll likely vacate their WBC title, leaving the organization and Sulaiman with a far less popular fighter, Benavidez, stepping in as the champion at 168.

Benavidez: The True Victim

  • Benavidez’s size: The fundamental problem with the WBC letting Benavidez take over is his size. He’s essentially a light heavyweight or cruiserweight, who some believe is putting himself through agony to make 168. Benavidez can still make weight for the super middleweight division now, but it’s clear that his days are numbered for that division.
  • Weaker champion: So, if the WBC puts Canelo in a spot where they’re forcing him to take a fight that he’s not interested in taking, they’ll end up with Benavidez, and he’ll likely be moving up to light heavyweight or cruiserweight soon out of necessity. The WBC will end up with a poor champion that will take over once Benavidez goes up to light heavyweight or cruiserweight, and they’ll have burned their bridges with Canelo.

The Harsh Reality

So, that leaves one of the lesser-known contenders like Edgar Berlanga to step in and snatch the WBC title. He’s nowhere near as popular as Canelo or Benavidez. So in the end, it’s a lose-lose situation for the WBC to try and force Canelo to fight a guy, Benavidez, who won’t be able to make 168 soon.

As it is, Benavidez is lucky the WBC doesn’t have a 10-lb rehydration rule like the IBF, as it’s highly unlikely he could keep his weight down for a fight day weigh-in after he makes 168.


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