As the March deadline approaches, has WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman played a role in helping the undisputed super-middleweight world champion, Canelo Alvarez, avoid a fight with David Benavidez?

The Cinco de Mayo weekend is a traditional fight weekend for Canelo Alvarez, but as of now he doesn’t have an opponent. Boxing fans and boxing pundits were pressing for David Benavidez to fill the open slot, but WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has found a way to take Benavidez out of the equation.

Back in May 2022, David Benavidez scored an impressive 3rd round TKO victory over David Lemieux and won the vacant WBC super-middleweight interim title. Benavidez assumed he would receive the opportunity to face Canelo Alvarez for the undisputed crown, since he was the WBC mandatory.

Benavidez thought he was the mandatory, but apparently Mauricio Sulaiman didn’t share the same feeling. The WBC president would go on to make a match in which the winner of the bout would be the mandatory challenger for Canelo Alvarez.

“Caleb Plant will fight Benavidez for the interim title and the winner will become the mandatory of the division to fight Canelo Alvarez,” Mauricio Sulaiman stated at the WBC Convention back in November 2022.

Four months later David Benavidez defeated Caleb Plant by way of unanimous decision. At that point Benavidez became Canelo’s WBC mandatory for a second time, but once again Sulaiman would dig into his bag a tricks and find another way for Benavidez to earn his shot at Canelo.

Despite the fact that Benavidez defeated Lemieux to win the WBC interim title, and followed it up with a win over former IBF super-middleweight world champion Caleb Plant, the WBC president switched things up and gave Benavidez another obstacle to climb before being awarded his shot at the undisputed crown.

“After the results with the specifics whether injury, cut or whatever, this time we confirm that David Benavidez is the mandatory. If he were to be successful against Demetrius Andrade, he is to be ratified as the mandatory for the WBC champion,” Sulaiman said during the November 2023 WBC convention.

A week later, Benavidez retained his WBC interim super-middleweight title as he defeated Demetrius Andrade by way of sixth round stoppage. After the Benavidez victory, Sulaiman didn’t immediately order the undisputed bout, but when he was a guest on Broadway Joel’s show, he did provide a deadline.

When Broadway Joel asked when will Canelo’s mandatory be enforced, Mauricio Sulaiman responded by saying, “Benavidez defeated Plant in March of this year, so his date for mandatory position is March 2024.”

As March 2024 was approaching, Canelo was seeking a May 4th opponent, and fans were wondering why is he seeking an opponent when his three-time mandatory challenger is available to fight? Canelo’s fanbase is in denial, but it’s painfully obvious that Canelo Alvarez is ducking David Benavidez.

His partner in crime Mauricio Sulaiman has cleverly found a way to avoid his self-imposed deadline of ordering the Canelo-Benavidez clash by rerouting Benavidez in a different direction. On February 22, 2024, Sulaiman proudly made the revelation.

“Very proud to announce a sensational fight which the WBC has approved to sanction for the interim light heavyweight championship Benavidez vs Gvozdyk. Wish the best of luck for both champions.”

Bravo to Mauricio Sulaiman because he deserves a round of applause for successfully finding a way to not order the Canelo-Benavidez fight. The fact that this fight is in high public demand and it hasn’t happened yet is a disgrace. Once again the loyal supporters of the sport of boxing take another ‘L.’

As of now, David Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) will move on to attempt to become the WBC interim champion in a second division while Canelo Alvarez is still trying to finalize a May 4th cherry pick.



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