David Benavidez believes his long-desired dance against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is inching closer to reality. 

Alvarez seemingly priced himself out when he called for $200 million to face Benavidez, but the undisputed super middleweight champion’s overtures have not been outright shut down.

“I feel like it’s going to happen soon. I don’t know how soon, but it’s looking more realistic,” Benavidez told BoxingScene. “I think Canelo might end up getting his $200 million and we might be getting the fight we all want. It’s very exciting news for us. We just have to stay working hard and stay ready for the opportunity. When that opportunity comes, I will take full advantage of that.”

Alvarez and Benavidez’s teams have been unable to reach a deal in recent years. A fight between them would likely require funding from Saudi Arabian boxing power broker Turki Alalshikh, chairman of the country’s General Sports Authority. 

“When we had first negotiated, they said they wanted to give me a flat fee of $5 million. I was perfectly fine with it,” said Benavidez. “Right now, the way I take these fights, I don’t really look at the money. The money is not important for me. What’s important for me is that I do my job 100 percent, and the money is going to follow. I’m not worried about how much money I’m going to get, because after I beat Canelo that’s when the money and everything else comes. As of right now, I’m not looking at this fight as a one-fight cash-out deal. After I beat him, he will want a rematch, and that’s when I become a PPV star.”

Benavidez is preparing to make his light heavyweight debut on June 15 against former titleholder and Alvarez sparring partner Oleksandr Gvozdyk, managed by Alvarez’s lifelong coach and confidant, Eddy Reynoso. 

Alvarez, a former light heavyweight titleholder, has previously quipped that the naturally bigger Benavidez brings nothing to a bout but 25 extra pounds on fight night. 

Benavidez said he would return to 168 pounds when Alvarez is ready for the fight. He added that he would be open to a rehydration clause but not a catchweight.

“Whatever [the terms are], as long as it’s not ridiculous. I just want to make this fight happen,” said Benavidez. “If he’s really not scared of me, if he’s really going to knock me out or does whatever he says he’s going to do, there shouldn’t be a catchweight. He didn’t do a rehydration clause with [Dmitry] Bivol. But if wants me to do a rehydration clause, I’ll do it. But I won’t do a catchweight clause – 168 pounds is already hard to get to. If he’s confident in his skills, then let’s put it to the test, and may the best man win.” 

Alvarez previously told BoxingScene he’s not interested in forcing Benavidez to agree to a rehydration clause. 

Benavidez is adamant he’ll be moving on with his career with or without Alvarez. 

“I’ve been kind of done with 168 pounds. I earned the opportunity to fight Canelo Alvarez, but since I am not getting that fight, there is really no other fight at 168. I want to test 175 pounds, and this is the perfect opportunity [against Gvozdyk],” said Benavidez. 

“I want to be the 168-pound, 175-pound and cruiserweight champion. When we get to the cruiserweight gate, we’ll see if we can make it to heavyweight. Maybe that will be something.”

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.

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