De La Hoya Says Canelo ‘Will Never Fight’ Benavidez

Boxing Scene

Oscar De La Hoya is convinced a Canelo Alvarez versus David Benavidez showdown is nothing more than a pipe dream ­— and he pins the blame all on his former client.

De La Hoya, the Hall of Famer and founder of Golden Boy Promotions, was recently prompted to offer his thoughts on a matchup between 168-pound undisputed champion Alvarez and longtime divisional contender Benavidez. An Alvarez-Benavidez fight is thought to be one of the best fights that can be made in the sport, but serious talks never seem to have taken place.

Suffice to say, De La Hoya, not exactly a neutral observer, does not think the fight will ever happen, citing what he believes to be the 25-year-old Benavidez’s natural advantages.

“Canelo will never fight him (Benavidez),” De La Hoya posted on Instagram. “He’s too young and talented.”

De La Hoya, of course, used to promote Alvarez, 32, but the two had a bitter falling out in 2020 that ended with Alvarez suing De La Hoya. The two settled and went their separate ways, although both have taken opportunities to snipe at the other through the media. Since their promotional divorce, Alvarez has worked mainly with Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing.

While an Alvarez-Benavidez showdown is a fight that may top the wishlists of boxing fans, it is unlikely to materialize anytime soon, given the heated back and forths between the two fighters and their alignment with rival promotional backers. Alvarez, while ostensibly a free agent, is linked with Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, which has an exclusive output deal with DAZN; Benavidez, on the other hand, is backed by rival outfit Premier Boxing Champions, which showcases most of its fighters on Showtime and Fox.  

Alvarez has famously snubbed Benavidez as a prospective opponent, citing the latter’s hollow résumé. Alvarez, who holds all the belts at 168, has frequently stated Benavidez must earn his stripes first before he deserves the opportunity to face him.

Earlier this year, BoxingScene.com reported that Alvarez had been offered a lucrative two-fight deal by Al Haymon of PBC to fight Jermall Charlo in the spring, then either welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. or Benavidez in the fall. Instead, Alvarez opted to sign a similar multi-fight deal with Hearn.

A former WBC champion at 168, Benavidez was stripped of his belt in 2020, ahead of his fight against Roamer Alexis Angulo at Mohegan Sun. That was the second time Benavidez lost a title outside of the ring. In 2018, Benavidez failed an out-of-competition, random drug test, prompting the WBC to strip him of his title and suspend him.

Benavidez would bounce back and reclaim the belt in 2019 with a stoppage of Anthony Dirrell in the ninth round.

Benavidez was last seen in the ring drubbing David Lemieux inside three rounds in May.

Alvarez is coming off a rather one-sided victory over longtime rival Gennadiy Golovkin last month to end their bitter trilogy. Alvarez has repeatedly stated that his top priority is to land a rematch with Russia’s Bivol, possibly as soon as next May. Bivol bucked the oddsmakers last May with a unanimous decision win over Alvarez in a 12-round light heavyweight fight for Bivol’s WBA crown.  

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