Jai Opetaia, the IBF cruiserweight champion, says His Excellency Turki Alalshikh asked him if he’d be interested in fighting Canelo Alvarez at 175.

Opetaia (25-0, 19 KOs) says he couldn’t do it because he can’t get down that low for a fight against Canelo, but he would welcome him or David Benavidez if they were interested in coming up to cruiserweight [200 lbs] to face him.

Benavidez: A Natural Cruiserweight?

Canelo is too small to go up to cruiserweight for a fight against the 28-year-old Opetaia, but Benavidez is more than big enough to make that fight.

Many believe that the 27-year-old Benavidez is a true cruiserweight and has been for years, but due to his youth, he has been able to melt down to fight at super middleweight.

Would Benavidez be willing to fight Opetaia, a fighter roughly his size, without enjoying a big weight advantage? I have my doubts. Benavidez would have a tough time against the southpaw Opetaia, who has one-punch power, but he’s not fought a combination puncher like him.

We saw how Opetaia looked uncomfortable in his last fight against former cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis on May 18th when he was put under extreme pressure in rounds eight through twelve and appeared to crumble.

“For sure. If he wants to come up to cruiserweight, bring it on. Cruiserweight is my division. Until I move out of it, come and get it,” said Jai Opetaia to Fight Hub TV when asked if he’d be interested in fighting David Benavidez if he moved up to cruiserweight.

Benavidez is accustomed to enjoying a weight advantage against his opposition, and he’s probably not going to be on board with fighting someone of similar size like Opetaia.

He wasn’t excited about fighting David Morrell Jr. when he called him out, and it would be an even more difficult fight for Benavidez against Opetaia. He would have to back up all that tough talk he’s been doing for years.

“There’s only one in the division, and cruiserweight is my division,” Opetaia said about a fight against Benavidez. “If Canelo came up to my division, I feel l like he is too small. It would be a bad move for him, but that’s another fight. How can you say no to that?” said Opetaia.

A Conversation with Turki Alalshikh

“The shiek [Turki Alalshikh] actually asked me. last week, he rang me and asked me and said, ‘Would you fight Canelo?’ He said 175 lbs, and I wouldn’t be able to make anything lower than cruiser.”

Canelo isn’t about to move up to cruiserweight to fight the much bigger and younger Opetaia because he knows the outcome. Opetaia is too much of a single-shot fighter to knock out Canelo, but he would definitely beat him.

“The jump from 79 kilos to 91 is just ridiculous. I’m not thinking if I lose. I’m ready to prove how good I am,” said Opetaia.

“I told Briedis that he was a great cruiserweight, but I’m the next generation coming through, and I really want to put my stamp on that. I want to fight these great fighters and prove that I’m one of the greats of this generation,” said Opetaia. “I wouldn’t be able to make 175, no way. Sure, why not?” said Opetaia about a fight with Canelo.

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