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MAGNO'S BULGING MAIL SACK: BENAVIDEZ (AND CANELO)

By Paul Magno | November 30, 2023
MAGNO'S BULGING MAIL SACK: BENAVIDEZ (AND CANELO)

This week, a monstrous performance from the Mexican Monster makes for a monster-sized David Benavidez-themed Mail Sack. So, let’s get into it:

Canelo vs. Benavidez

Hey Paul,

Benavidez V. Canelo sounds like an insane fight if it actually goes down, but I am sensing a bit of him taking the easy route in this part of his career. His last two fights (Charlo and Ryder) felt very underwhelming in terms of an actual challenge which maybe makes him look better than he actually is in this part of his career...which makes me worried for Canelo, because he didn’t really look that great in those fights and Benavidez looks the part.

I sensed a big jump in improvement from his last fight with Plant. From head movement to footwork, Benavidez, he’s only getting better.  Maybe it’s just recency bias, but I’m curious if you believe he can beat Benavidez and hand him that first L. Right now, I am split on the outcome

Lastly, RIP Showtime Boxing. I know I shouldn’t care about the cable provider, but lots of epic moments on SHO. I hear talks of Amazon Prime taking on PBC. Hope to still hear Jimmy Lennon Jr too - “itsssss PRIMETIME!”

– Alexis

Hey Alexis.

Honestly, I think David Benavidez has always been this good. I’ve been writing for years now about how he has this degree of old school nuance and how he has much more depth than your typical pressure fighter. People are just taking notice now, mostly because he’s performing on bigger stages against higher level opposition. And, like some of the greats, he’s actually getting better and sharper as his level of opposition gets higher. 

I believe Canelo Alvarez is in a world of trouble if/when he faces Benavidez. There are two main reasons I say that. 

First, Benavidez presents a very tough stylistic matchup for Alvarez. The long and tall Benavidez incorporates his physical attributes into his offense-minded style, keeping opposition under pressure and reacting rather than acting. I see him doing the same against Alvarez, using his four-inch reach advantage and six-inch edge in height to his benefit against a Canelo who will have to fight and fight to keep Benavidez off him as well as battle fiercely to get inside and launch his own offense.

Second, as you touched on, Canelo may no longer be THE Canelo. His best days may have come and gone and what we see now, at 33 years of age, is a physically post-prime fighter who lacks the hunger of his younger self and, honestly, may be undersized against someone like Benavidez. Add those factors to what I mentioned above and we may be seeing the perfect scenario for a torch-passing beatdown. 

Alvarez is still an elite fighter and it’s not entirely unlikely that he could find a solution to Benavidez’s style, abilities, and mindset. I wouldn’t bet on it, though.

Yeah, I’m not a nostalgia guy, but Showtime had a great run and the end of Showtime Boxing is definitely an end to an era. We’ll see where the fighters there end up next. I don’t see any of them panicking, so something may be on the horizon. 

Canelo vs. Benavidez?

Watching Benavidez v. Andrade was bitter sweet. At the end of the fight you’re excited because it was a helluva performance from a great fighter who has proven he deserves to take on the P4P best. But the common sense side kicks in and you lose all hope because recent history tells you Canelo v Benavidez ain't happening! 

Do you think boxing can survive this decade if they continue on this path? How desperate is the survival of boxing dependent on big fights being made sooner than later? I think we're at a breaking point here in the USA! Boxing might remain relevant in Europe, The Middle East and Asia. But the road is as narrow as its ever been on this side of the pond. 

– Na'-il Rahman

Hey Na'-il.

Canelo is a smart man. He has to know just how close to a suicide mission a Benavidez fight would be. He also has to know how firmly his back is up against the wall when it comes to having to take on this challenge. NOT fighting Benavidez would make for a permanent stain on his legacy and, in many eyes, it would define his status in history. And Alvarez, more so than most of his contemporaries, has obsessed over his legacy and place in history. It’ll be incredibly interesting to see how he conducts his business these next few months. I’m not as doubtful about Canelo-Benavidez happening as you are. I’m actually 50-50 on the fight taking place, even if it doesn’t happen next. 

But I see your point when it comes to the big fights not being made or being put off, almost to the point of not mattering anymore. It’s a matter of economics and of a generally bad business model the sport has embraced. IMO, this is actually a product of boxing’s success within its niche. Boxing’s fans are loyal and willing to pay for product, but that strategy of making fans pay more and more for fights has been shrinking the base over decades. Now, we’re at a point where the only ones buying the boxing product are the hardcore fans who buy into everything anyway. The end result is that the money for the big, risky fights-- with very few exceptions-- is not significantly more than what can be made for lesser, less risky fights. So, why take that risk? It’s imperative that boxing finds ways to grow the base and attract the “casuals” to its events or we’ll just be seeing more of the same when it comes to some of the better fights. Other markets may not be suffering through these issues because they’re either new markets or smaller markets. If/When their business grows and/or settles into the business realities the American market has to deal with, we’ll see the same issues pop up with them. 

I don’t think boxing will ever die in the States. But, as a loyal fan, you have to come to terms with the fact that you’ll be paying more and more (likely, for less and less) until/unless there’s some sort of major restructuring of the sport’s business model. 

Canelo vs. Benavidez!

Hey Paul,

Hope you and the family had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday! I read this week’s NFTBU, great stuff.

Like almost everyone else, I hope that we finally get to see Canelo and the "Mexican Monster." Benavidez’s last two fights have been a huge step up in competition that can't be overlooked. What I like most about Benavidez is that as much as he wants the Canelo fight, he is not sitting around waiting. He's going after the next best option. Personally, I think we are seeing his transition into stardom, even without Canelo. He's making his own lane and doing it impressively.

If the fight does not get made in 2024, I wouldn't be surprised if some of Canelo's Mexican fanbase become Benavidez fans.

Canelo, if you are reading this, the young man (Benavidez) has pretty much done everything you've asked of him to get his shot. As the proud Mexican Warrior we think you are, please do not cheat this man out of this opportunity that he has worked so hard for.

And to the WBC, shame on you as an organization for putting your own greed above the fighters and fans by not forcing these fighters to honor their mandatory commitments.

IT’S TIME!

Regards.

– Reggie Cannon

Hey Reggie.

Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks for reading. 

Agree. Agree. Agree. There’s nothing more I can add to what you just said. Canelo-Benavidez, now.

Got a question (or hate mail) for Magno’s Bulging Mail Sack? The best of the best gets included in the weekly mailbag segment right here at FightHype. Send your stuff here: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com.

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