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MAGNO'S BULGING MAIL SACK: NEXT MOVES FOR CANELO, TANK, CRAWFORD, TEOFIMO AND MUCH MORE

By Paul Magno | February 22, 2024
MAGNO'S BULGING MAIL SACK: NEXT MOVES FOR CANELO, TANK, CRAWFORD, TEOFIMO AND MUCH MORE

Break out the plastic panchos and splash-guard eye shields, it’s time for another Thursday equine-like money shot of gooey, salty boxing truth. This week we have questions/comments regarding next moves for Canelo Alvarez, Tank Davis, and Terence Crawford, as well as honest assessments of Teofimo Lopez and PBC’s presence in boxing. 

Canelo's Choice

What's good P Mag? Hope all is well with you and your family. Everyone wants to see Canelo fight Benavidez (Benny) next, sometime this year, or before he retires. If this fight doesn't happen it doesn't really matter to me and quite frankly it won't stop Canelo from getting into the Hall of Fame. I do understand this about being a cash cow, there is ALWAYS going to be someone else out there to fight. Do I think Canelo/Benny is a great fight? Absolutely!!! But again, I'm not slamming Canelo if the fight doesn't happen? Thoughts? 

-- Robert Elmore

Hey Robert.

Zero doubt, Canelo is already a Hall of Famer. That shouldn’t be in question by anyone, especially given current Hall of Fame standards. But, I won’t lie, not fighting Benavidez WILL bring him some merited derision and, in my eyes at least, a bit of a hit in the area of legacy. I know there’s always going to be some other fight, some other opponent for the top dogs, which always gives critics the opening to call them a “duck.” But Benavidez as an opponent is not the same as Antonio Margarito, for example, when Floyd Mayweather was accused of ducking him. In the case of Margarito (and I just picked this example off the top of my head), he was never THE guy for Mayweather. He was A guy and a top guy, but he was never the consensus “must fight” for Floyd and had never, at any point, earned that distinction. In the case of Benavidez-- he HAS earned his way to being the ONLY guy worthy of a shot at Canelo’s unified 168 lb. title. There’s, literally, nobody else more deserving. Not even close. Where Benavidez was once a talented young fighter with a couple of titles who maybe deserved a shot, he’s now proven himself, via blowouts against Plant and Andrade, to be THE guy who absolutely deserves that opportunity. And for Canelo not to meet that challenge, well, it will speak very poorly of him. It really opens up the question of why Canelo is around, holding all the titles, if he’s not going to live up to his duties and obligations as unified champ, especially as a star attraction supposedly focused on giving fans the biggest fights. For Canelo, the Benavidez fight is not only the biggest one out there for him, but also the best. It’ll look like a very cynical business decision if the fight is never made. I have faith that it happens, though. We’ll see.

Tank/Teo/Canelo

Hi Paul. Hope you are doing well.

Tank: What’s the deal on him not announcing anything? He’s such a big fighter and I’m starting to believe fighters are steering clear from him. Thoughts?

Teofimo: That fight sucked to watch [vs. Jamaine Ortiz]. Snorefest. Almost think the carnival walkout was probably the highlight of that shit and ESPN was quick to cut out of his fight ASAP (especially when he told everyone to suck a d**k no homo live). Are you a fan of this guy or is he all hype?

Canelo’s Next Choice: Rumor mill is swirling on Canelo’s next fighter. American fighter? Unless Charlo is bluffing, fingers point to Crawford? What are your thoughts on his next fighter (s) in 2024.

Lastly, I try and read other blogs on boxing but since you mentioned the Saudis influencing boxing journalism, i see it more and more.  You do great work and I Appreciate you sticking to your craft and staying true...for now...

-- Alexis from Oregon

Hey Alexis. 

I’ll tackle these in order.

I don’t know why Tank doesn’t have anything on the schedule yet. Most likely, because it IS difficult to get him a big fight at the moment. While there are top guys calling him out, the business probably isn’t right for Tank and his team, who believe (and maybe rightfully so) that these other guys need to fight under Tank’s banner and not expect 50-50 across the board. The reality is that Tank is the A-side-- by a mile-- against anyone from 135 to 140 and while I may bristle at that “A-side” talk sometimes, it’s just a business reality. It always has been when it comes to cutting deals in boxing. Always. 

Teofimo is exactly who I always thought he was-- a talented young fighter who is excellent at what he does, but who is not very good at adapting mid-fight. I also see him as a bit of a head case, to be honest. But I wouldn’t call him a hype job. What he does, how he does it, is good enough to beat most everyone at 140. His people just need to keep him away from certain types of fighters-- movers, spoilers-- or, better yet, have him learn how to handle those types of guys. 

I have no idea when it comes to Canelo’s next opponent. Given his stated preferences-- no Mexicans, no Terence Crawford, big fights only-- there aren’t many options out there. Basically, we only have David Benavidez and Jermall Charlo-- and Charlo’s erratic behavior, combined with the stink left over from his twin brother’s fight with Canelo, makes him an unlikely May 4 foe. So, I have no idea. I’m thinking Benavidez is the only route left if Canelo’s interested in a blockbuster. But I wouldn’t be surprised at a swerve from Alvarez, maybe targeting another UK opponent (Chris Eubank Jr.?) or maybe middleweight interim champ Carlos Adames. 

And thanks for the kind words. I try. 

Terence vs. Teo? Has PBC benefited boxing?

Hi Magno, 

Thank you for your articles. The boxing world is full of BS and rumors and I appreciate your willingness to deal in FACTS while also being clear on when something is speculation or just your opinion. That said, I've got a few questions for you.

Can Teofimo v. Crawford get made? 

As the Terence "Boo Boo" Crawford (lack of) saga continues, it appears that he will not have a dance partner any time soon. I know this is going to trigger the "Bud Buddies", but Crawford is a business liability. With the BLK Prime crap he pulled in the first Spence negotiations, him stalling on the Spence rematch, and with his measurable value being inconsistent with his compensation demands, the Suits don't want anything to do with this guy- and who can blame them? And can we dispatch with the Crawford-Canelo talk? He is not getting anywhere near Canelo for all the reasons I just stated. So why not fight Teofimo? He's the biggest name out there who is calling Crawford out. It seems like a very winnable fight. I think Teo is crazy personally, but I counted him out against Loma and Taylor and was wrong so, why not? We know that Bob Arum was clear that he did not want to be in the "Terence Crawford Business", so can the fight be made?

Has the PBC benefited Boxing?

I was skeptical at first, but I think that the PBC has been the biggest improvement that we have seen in boxing in decades. However, it seems that there is a network of Black, race-baiting YouTubers who are committed to disparaging Al Haymon, the PBC, and PBC fighters. WTF? Al Haymon shook up an entire industry whose business model was pretty much, white guys exploiting minorities for gain. I mean, kids should be writing about Al Haymon for their Black History Month reports, but you have these idiot YouTubers (claiming to be pro-Black) spouting nonsense, half-truths, and flat out lies. I know the PBC has it's faults, but overall, do you think that it has been beneficial to the sport?

Thanks.

– Will

Hey Will.

Thanks for the kind words. Dealing in reality is definitely an uphill battle in boxing.

I’ll admit that I’m a total mark for Terence Crawford, the fighter. Outside the ring, though, the man is a frustratingly stubborn piece of work who is frequently his own worst enemy. The truth is that he is the biggest reason he’s not a bigger star. From the shitty re-signing with Top Rank to these latest travails in getting a fight, Terence Crawford only has Terence Crawford to blame. After beating Spence, there was a wave of support and attention washing over him. But, other than show up on some talk shows, he took no advantage of it. Rather than getting back into the ring to continue to build his star momentum, he’s spent the last seven months telling us who he WON’T fight and, essentially, doing unto others what he feels they did unto him when it comes to opportunities. So, with nothing on the horizon and the dream of a Canelo fight slipping away, why not fight Teofimo? It probably won’t happen, though. Making that fight would mean working with Bob Arum again and, given Crawford’s apparent mindset, that’s not likely to happen. On the other side of the fence, I also think Arum would be very reluctant in giving Terence a chance to beat one of his top guys. 

A lot of those YouTube/social media guys who hate so aggressively on Haymon and PBC were people who, at one point early on, tried to get a PBC gig or hoped they could get some sort of piggyback ride from the boxing company. They’re personally butt-hurt from the rejection (or perceived rejection) and are now all about burning down the house that wouldn’t give them room and board. It’s defeatist behavior, but they’ve found a little niche in appealing to the haters, cynics, and boxing culture warriors out to bring Haymon/PBC down. Their time is numbered, though. And they better hope and pray that PBC DOESN’T go out of business because, without the constant harping on all things Haymon, they have nothing to say, zero content to bring in traffic. 

As far as whether PBC has benefited boxing? I think boxing is boxing and any changes that have happened in the business, overall, were set to happen whether PBC was around or not. I have gone on record, however, as saying that I do think the PBC business model is the right way to go with the sport. It has put more money directly into the fighters’ hands, has given fighters more power over their own careers, and has chipped away at the foundations of the old guard business model/power dynamic, which had sunk boxing into a mess of corruption that served to push away the mainstream sports world. Major mainstream business entities-- like Amazon Prime, for example-- looking to explore boxing content is a testament to a success story, even if some people try to paint the PBC story as an abject failure. 

There’ve been some setbacks and mis-turns in their run, but I think Al Haymon and PBC, at the very least, have paved the way for boxing to re-enter the conversation among the much-needed corporate power brokers. And that’s a first, huge step in getting boxing to be seen once again as a “real” sport. 

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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