By Sean Jones: Tim Bradley says Canel Alvarez will beat David Benavidez by outboxing him if that fight happens. Bradley saw how former IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant outboxed Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs) for the first six rounds of their fight last March.
Bradley says that the off-performance by Canelo against John Ryder was a case of him fighting a guy he wasn’t motivated for rather than it being a sign that he’s getting a little long in the tooth.
Tim feels that if Plant could get the better of the 25-year-old Benavidez, then Canelo will too. Unfortunately, Canelo (59-2-2, 39 KOs) hasn’t said anything about wanting to fight Benavidez, as he plans on facing Dmitry Bivol in a rematch in September.
If Canelo gets taken to school again by Bivol in a one-sided loss like their first fight, he’s probably not going to want to tangle with Benavidez this year or in the first half of 2024.
Realistically, we won’t see Canelo fighting Benavidez until 2025 at the earliest because the Mexican superstar will surely devote all of 2025 talking tune-ups to return from his second loss to Bivol.
Motivation important for Canelo
“Canelo looked okay. I’m going to give him a B-performance. He dominated the dude, busted him up, and broke his nose; easy work,” said Tim Bradley to K.O. Artist Sports on Canelo Alvarez’s last fight against John Ryder.
“This is the thing. You can say that ‘Canelo is done.’ I’ve been hearing that. ‘He’s done; he’s not the same guy anymore.’ But you being a fighter and knowing how guys are and how guys approach certain fights. Canelo wasn’t phased by this dude [Ryder].
“Do you think Canelo had to work extremely hard for this dude? No. Canelo is at a point in his career with 60-something fights to where he has got to get up for fights. His heart has to get racing.
“If he fights a guy like Bivol, he’s coming. If he fights a guy like [David] Benavidez, he’s coming. He’s coming ready. But a guy like Ryder? Come on, man. He knew he was going to [beat him]. Then Ryder couldn’t even hurt him. He felt his pop, and he was like, ‘Ah.’
“He was willing to take more risks. He was willing to stand there. The problem with Canelo at that time is he tried too hard. That was the thing. When you try to knock somebody out, you’re not going to knock nobody out, bro,” said Bradley.
Canelo beats Benavidez
“What? Are they saying he [Canelo] can’t beat Benavidez? They’re crazy. They’re tripping. What?” said Bradley when asked if he thinks Canelo is starting to get a ‘little long in the tooth?’
“You can assume that because you’re only as good as your last performance. Again, I’ve been in his shoes. I haven’t had 60 fights, but I know how he’s feeling. His body is a bit tired. Fatherhood and family things get in the way at times.
“But trust me, he has a reputation that he has to uphold, and he takes it seriously,” said Bradley about Canelo. “Now, if he fights a fighter that is up there, and he knows it, he’s going to program him into a monster.
“He beats Benavidez. I love Benavidez, but I think he beats him. He outboxes him. Benavidez makes a ton of mistakes. Caleb Plant was outboxing him for the first six rounds.
“Things will get interesting when he fights Canelo on the backend because Canelo seems to fade. So that’s when things get interesting in favor of Benavidez.
“But I think Canelo is strong enough and has enough experience in order to weather the storm and figure it out and win on points against a guy like Benavidez,” said Bradley.