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Canelo Alvarez claims it would take ‘$150 million to $200 million’ for him to face David Benavidez

If one were to ask undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez about adhering to the public demand that he fight unbeaten former two-time champion David Benavidez, they should accept a salty and dismissive remark. 

But should they want to actually see the fight, which would be one of the biggest the sport could make to close 2024, the Mexican icon has now raised his price considerably. 

Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs) spoke with media members after Tuesday’s kickoff press conference in Los Angeles for his May 4 return against countryman Jaime Munguia (43-0, 34 KOs) and denied reports from Benavidez’s promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz, that their team had offered Alvarez a purse of $55 million to accept the fight. 

“No, nothing is true. I don’t know where you got that. Never, never, never,” Alvarez said. “Not that I know, and I know everything. He offered that amount, he say? That amount, I can make with anybody. That has nothing. 

“[Benavidez] brings nothing to the table for me. He brings just 25 pounds more on that night. That’s it. It’s not him because he has nothing to offer me, anything. I’m the one. But if one promoter who I work with comes and offers me $150 million to $200 million, I’ll fight tomorrow. That’s the only reason I would fight with him because the only thing he brings to the table is 25 pounds.”

The 25 pounds was a reference to the amount of weight that Benavidez, a 27-year-old native of Phoenix, rehydrated to one day after making the 168-pound limit for his November TKO win over undefeated, former two-division champion Demetrius Andrade. 

Benavidez, who was nicknamed “The Monster” by Hall of Famer Mike Tyson, has become the boogie man of the division following consecutive blowout wins on PPV in 2023 over Caleb Plant and Andrade. But despite his best efforts in calling out Alvarez, the title fight continues to elude him.  

Even though Benavidez has twice been stripped of his WBC title (for missing weight and failing a drug test), he’s considered by most experts to be the perfect combination of size, speed, power and aggressiveness to give Alvarez trouble. 

The problem for Alvarez, 33, is that the more he waits Benavidez out, the older he gets while Benavidez continues to get better. But the scenario represents the first time Alvarez has undergone this level of extreme criticism for his matchmaking since he forced former middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin to wait two years until he was 35 until he agreed to their first of three fights in 2017. 

“I don’t need to fight anybody,” Alvarez said. “I don’t need to prove to anybody anything because I remember when this happened with Golovkin. I don’t need to prove anything to anybody. This fight with Jaime Munguia, you need to respect this because this fight is more important than those other fights. It is what it is. And I remember when you guys are always asking me for Golovkin and then I fight Golovkin. And then, it’s Billy Joe Saunders. And then, it’s Caleb Plant. And then …

“So, never is enough for you guys. I don’t need to prove anything to anyone, anymore. I’ve done everything in my career.”

The response from Alvarez is a clear departure from the persona he flashed in gaining almost universal praise in 2021 when he completed a stretch of four wins in 11 months, including three against unbeaten champions, en route to becoming the first four-belt undisputed king at super middleweight and the sport’s pound-for-pound best. 

Alvarez then doubled down upon his ambitions following his knockout of Plant by moving back up to 175 pounds where he unsuccessfully challenged unbeaten titleholder Dmitry Bivol in 2022 before flirting with a move up to cruiserweight that never came to fruition. 

Given Alvarez’s repeated willingness to take on the toughest challenges available, including fighting Floyd Mayweather in 2013 when he was just 23, it was expected that fighting Benavidez within his own division would not be an issue. 

Alvarez shocked the boxing community in recent months by dissolving his three-fight deal with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions after just one fight. Yet, after shopping offers on the open market, Alvarez chose to return to Haymon to secure the Munguia bout in a one-fight deal with PBC, which also represents Benavidez. 

“I’m happy to work with everybody. I’m happy to work with Al Haymon and he’s happy to work with me,” Alvarez said. “If something happened, or if there is something more important for me to do, I’m going to do it. And I’m going to be good with Haymon, with everybody. I like to work with everybody and they know I am very disciplined and a hard worker. That’s why I can do everything.”

Earlier this month, Tyson criticized Alvarez’s decision to avoid Benavidez by openly pondering whether he was afraid to accept the fight. Alvarez closed Tuesday’s media scrum by responding to a question asking for a response.  

“I would respect [Tyson’s] opinion if he was sober,” Alvarez said. 

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