For multiple years the undisputed super-middleweight world champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has successfully avoided his WBC mandatory challenger, and as we approach the month of March, the question is will Canelo finally step up and fight David Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) or will he continue to cruise in the duck lane?

Alvarez is ready to step back inside the squared circle as he has selected a date, but as of now he doesn’t have an opponent. Boxing fans, boxing pundits, and boxing legends are hopeful in regards to a Canelo Alvarez vs David Benavidez match on May 4th, but more than likely that’s a case of wishful thinking.

David Benavidez is a former two-time WBC super-middleweight world champion. He won the title on two separate occasions in the ring, but unfortunately he lost the title on two separate occasions in self-destructive fashion.

The first time he was stripped of the title was in September 2018 due to a positive test for cocaine, and two years later he was stripped again for coming into a fight and weighing over the super-middleweight limit.

After his second self-inflicted disappointment, Benavidez decided to regroup and hop on the road to redemption. He posted an 11th round TKO victory over Ronald Ellis in March 2021, and then eight months later he scored a 7th round TKO victory over Kyrone Davis.

In May 2022 David Benavidez destroyed David Lemieux as he scored a 3rd round TKO victory and won the vacant WBC Interim super-middleweight title. With the win, many assumed Benavidez was Canelo’s WBC mandatory, but the WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman didn’t quite see it that way.

In November 2022 Sulaiman announced that the winner of the bout between David Benavidez and former IBF super-middleweight champion Caleb Plant would be the mandatory challenger for Canelo Alvarez. Benavidez would go on to win the contest by way of unanimous decision, but unfortunately Mauricio Sulaiman decided to move the goal post.

The WBC president did a remix and stated the winner of the David Benavidez vs Demetrius Andrade bout would be the mandatory for Canelo Alvarez. In November 2023 Benavidez stopped Andrade in the sixth round, but unfortunately Mauricio Sulaiman didn’t order the fight between Canelo and Benavidez.

While Benavidez was participating in multiple title eliminator bouts, Canelo was on cruise control in the duck lane. Instead of fighting his mandatory, Canelo fought a declining 40-year-old Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin, John Ryder, a man who already had 5 losses, and the 154-pound undisputed champion Jermell Charlo.

Hardcore Canelo fans try to justify their hero’s actions of avoiding his mandatory by questioning the credibility of Benavidez. Simply put, if David Benavidez doesn’t deserve a shot at the undisputed 168-pound crown, what made John Ryder and Jermell Charlo qualified to receive the opportunity?

Reality is beginning to settle in as some of the non-believers are starting to believe in regards to Canelo Alvarez purposely avoiding David Benavidez. The dedicated Canelo supporters still believe their favorite fighter is not ducking, but his next choice of opponent could make the speculation valid.

Canelo Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs) is running out of opposition to face, and if he decides to fight Jermall Charlo on May 4th, we can officially call Alvarez a duck. Jermall Charlo is a good fighter, but due to his battle with mental health issues and his inactivity, he’s not the best candidate to fight Canelo right now.

If Canelo selects anyone outside of David Benavidez, then one should ask what is the use of being a mandatory challenger if you’re never going to receive the opportunity to face the champion? It is truly disgraceful how the WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has allowed this travesty to play out.

However, Sulaiman has a chance to redeem himself. Back in July 2023 as a guest on Broadway Joel’s show, Mauricio Sulaiman finally put a date on ordering the potential clash between Canelo Alvarez and David Benavidez.

“Benavidez defeated Plant in March of this year, so his date for mandatory position is March 2024,” Sulaiman said.

While Canelo has been making excuses as it relates to fighting Benavidez, his bestie Mauricio Sulaiman has been repeatedly making false statements. Now that the month of March is approximately a week away, Sulaiman has been granted another opportunity to finally keep his word by ordering the fight between Canelo and Benavidez.

Canelo Alvarez has put together a legendary career, but this chapter with David Benavidez is slightly tarnishing his legacy. It’s one thing to avoid a boxer for a couple of years, but you’re on another level when you purposely avoid your mandatory for multiple years.

Alvarez isn’t afraid of Benavidez, but he knows that Benavidez is the biggest threat to his throne. So at the present time, as we are all impatiently waiting for an announcement, we all wonder will Canelo step up and give us fans the matchup we want, or will he continue to duck, and select a ripe cherry pick?

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