Who Should Canelo Fight After Facing Jermell Charlo?
On September 30th, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez returns to action when he defends his undisputed super middleweight world championship against undisputed light middleweight king Jermell Charlo. And while the smaller man is embarking on an almost herculean task, seeing a fighter go up two weight classes in their efforts to do the unthinkable isn’t uncommon.
Back in 2016, Britain’s Amir Khan went up two weight classes to face Canelo himself, before suffering a vicious knockout in the fifth round. Around the same time, Gennady Golovkin faced off against then-IBF Welterweight Champion Kell Brook, who was also stopped early on. Charlo will have to put visions of those two beatdowns to the back of his mind if he is to have any hope of usurping the Mexican box office sensation as the new champ at 168 pounds.
Should Canelo get the victory as expected, attention will turn to his next fight almost immediately. But who should the 33-year-old face next?
The betting odds on Canelo Alvarez vs. Jermell Charlo currently make the Mexican superstar a heavy 6/25 favourite. However, he was also a favourite when he moved up to light heavyweight for a clash against Dmitry Bivol last May. But on that night, the bookmakers got it wrong.
The talented Russian boxer-puncher managed to keep Canelo at a distance all night, peppering away with the jab and a straight right hand to rack up a huge lead on the scorecards. Despite a late rally, Alvarez couldn’t topple his much bigger and rangier opponent and lost via unanimous decision. Bivol remains the only man to beat Canelo since a May 2013 defeat at the hands of Floyd Mayweather, and you better believe that he wants to run it back.
Many thought a rematch between Bivol and Canelo would have been agreed upon immediately, however, the latter thought better of it. Should he handle business against Charlo though, he could very well return for one more crack at the WBA light heavyweight champion.
Back in 2021, Canelo unified the super middleweight division by firstly vanquishing Billy-Joe Saunders and then knocking out Caleb Plant. In the two years since, he has embarked on other endeavours including his trip up to light heavyweight to battle Bivol as well as completing his trilogy against Gennady Golovkin. However, during his absence, a new challenger has emerged.
6’2 knockout artist David Benavidez has established himself as the number-one contender in the super middleweight division and a viable threat to Canelo’s crown. ‘The Monster’ has knockout victories over former champions Anthony Dirrell and David Lemieux on his resume, as well as a one-sided decision victory over the aforementioned Plant. That latest victory came in March of this year and was considered Benavidez’s coming out party however, his title shot against Canelo still remains elusive.
Alvarez first opted to return to Mexico to face off against mandatory challenger John Ryder earlier this year. Now, he has been persuaded by Showtime to face off against Charlo in a clash of undisputed champions. Should he manage to get the victory once more, surely there is no way he can avoid Benavidez a third time, is there?