Teofimo Lopez Jr.’s Team Requesting “Super Champion’ Designation from WBO

Teofimo Lopez Jr. is hoping for a super decision… 

Top Rank sent an official request to the WBO with hopes of naming the 26-year-old Honduran American junior welterweight champion as the organization’s “super champion,” a designation that provides the fighter with special privileges under the WBO guidelines.

Teofimo Lopez“As you are aware Teofimo most recently defeated then WBO world champion Josh Taylor at MSG on June 10,” the letter from Top Rank’s vice president of boxing operations, Carl Moretti, sent to the WBO reads. “His performance has received accolades throughout the boxing community as well as a nomination for “Performance of the Year“.


“It should also be noted that Taylor is a former undisputed unified 140-pound world champion never losing any of his titles inside the ring when he fought Teofimo.”

Top Rank also noted that “The magnitude of Teofimo’s accomplishments” are enough to grant him the “super champion” status.

Lopez (19-1, 13 KOs), a 2-1 underdog at the time, handed Taylor his first defeat in June with a dominating unanimous decision victory at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. With the win, Lopez became a two-division champion at just 25 years old, lending merit to Top Rank’s request.

Fernando Gaztambide, WBO press officer, told ESPN that “super champion” designation is a status granted “to those fighters whose professional merits and accomplishments satisfy the criteria set forth in the relevant provision.”

Gaztambide also noted that it is not a title, but rather a status which grants the recipient certain rights considering his accomplishments.

“As a super champion a fighter gets certain privileges, like being named mandatory challenger for a champion in higher or lower divisions, lifetime membership with the WBO, extended time to make mandatory title defenses and other things,” WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel told ESPN.

The decision will be made this week, according to Valcarcel, and depends on Lopez meeting the required qualifications.

“We have rules and criteria the fighter should meet. If the five-member championship committee approves the request, it will need to be approved by the 23-member executive committee by majority,” Valcarcel explained.

Some of the WBO criteria includes that the fighter has a “multiple bout contract with a major television [company].” It also states that the fighter requesting the “super champion” designation had a minimum of 10 title defenses or if less than 10, the fighter has defended the belt against “opponents of high recognition and high skills.”

Other provisions are that the fighter has been a champion in more than one division or has held more than one championship from the other major organizations (WBC, WBA, IBF), or has been a unified champion, among others. Lopez checks all those boxes, having been a former WBO lightweight champion and a unified champion.

Currently, the WBO has five “super champions”, heavyweight Oleksandr Usyk, super middleweight Canelo Alvarez, junior middleweight Jermell Charlo, welterweight Terence Crawford, and lightweight Devin Haney.

David Benavidez Finalizing Deal for Super Middleweight Bout vs. Demetrius Andrade

David Benavidez is thisclose to heading back to the ring…

David BenavidezThe 26-year-old Mexican-Ecuadorian-Dominican American professional boxer, a two-time WBC super middleweight champion, is finalizing a deal to fight Demetrius Andrade in a super middleweight bout this fall in Las Vegas.

The battle of former champions will be a pay-per-view event, according to ESPN sources.

Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs) scored a career-best win in March, a unanimous-decision victory over Caleb Plant. Fighting out of Seattle, he’s ESPN‘s No. 2 super middleweight after undisputed champion Canelo Alvarez.

Benavidez lost his belt outside the ring on both occasions (positive test for cocaine before he later missed weight).

The volume puncher, known as “The Mexican Monster,” is hoping for a showdown with Alvarez next year. But first, Benavidez will face a slick boxer for the second consecutive fight when he meets Andrade.

A former champion at 154 and 160 pounds, Andrade (32-0, 19 KOs) will finally land the big fight he’s sought at age 35. Long avoided for his defensive prowess and boxing skills, Andrade moved up to 168 pounds in January with a shutout decision win over journeyman Demond Nicholson.

Andrade, a Providence, R.I., native, has never faced an elite opponent. He’ll step up in class when he meets Benavidez in a matchup that could propel the winner to a showdown with Alvarez.

Andrade is ESPN’s No. 8 super middleweight.

Canelo Alvarez to Fight Jermell Charlo in Las Vegas This September

Canelo Alvarez has lined up his next opponent, but it’s not the person most expected it to be.

The 32-year-old Mexican professional boxer, the sport’s top star at the moment, has announced on social media that he’ll fight Jermell Charlo rather than his twin brother, Jermall, on September 30 in Las Vegas, the first meeting of undisputed champions in the four-belt era.

Canelo AlvarezAlvarez holds all four super middleweight titles while Charlo owns all four belts at 154 pounds. The bout, which is expected to be a Showtime PPV event, will be contested at 168 pounds for Alvarez’s undisputed championship, per ESPN sources.

Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs) was lined up for a fight with Jermall Charlo, the WBC champion at 160 pounds, after he met with PBC founder Al Haymon in the Cleveland area earlier in June.

But earlier this week, Alvarez’s team was informed that Jermall wouldn’t be available to fight in September, sources said. The sides pivoted to Jermell, who sits just outside ESPN’s pound-for-pound list but has never competed above 154 pounds, and the matchup was finalized on Friday, sources said.

ESPN Deportes reported earlier Friday that Jermall needed more time to get in shape because he has not fought since June 2021, when he scored a unanimous decision win over Juan Macias Montiel. WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said last month that Jermall’s inactivity is due to mental health.

Alvarez, a future Hall of Famer from Mexico, struck a three-fight deal with PBC earlier in June, with the other two fights expected to take place on Cinco De Mayo Weekend and Mexican Independence Day Weekend in 2024, sources said.

Alvarez’s preferred September 16 date wasn’t available in Las Vegas due to a UFC event on the same night at T-Mobile Arena.

Canelo is coming off a unanimous-decision victory over John Ryder in May in a Mexico homecoming in Guadalajara. The win was Alvarez’s first fight since he underwent left wrist surgery in October.

In May 2022, Canelo moved up to light heavyweight but was routed by Dmitry Bivol in his first loss since he faced Floyd Mayweather in 2013. He returned in September to defeat his rival, Gennaidy Golovkin, in a trilogy fight.

Alvarez is ESPN’s No. 5 pound-for-pound boxer and has captured titles in four weight classes.

Last month, Alvarez was No. 5 on Forbes’ Highest-Paid Athletes list at estimated earnings of $110 million in 2022.

Jermall Charlo was one of two finalists for the Alvarez bout when Canelo ultimately selected Bivol last May. He could land his shot next May if Alvarez defeats his brother.

Jermell Charlo, a 33-year-old who fights out of the Houston area, captured the undisputed 154-pound championship last May when he knocked out Brian Castano in the 10th round of a rematch. The two fighters had previously battled to a highly controversial draw in July 2021 after Castano appeared to do enough to earn the decision.

The only defeat of Jermell’s career came in December 2018, a disputed decision loss to Tony Harrison. Jermell (35-1-1, 19 KOs) also avenged that blemish on his record, scoring an 11th-round knockout of Harrson one year later.

Jermell was set to defend his four titles against Tim Tszyu, the son of Hall of Famer Kostya Tszyu, in January before he suffered a broken left hand.

Canelo Alvarez Planning His Second Fight of 2023, Jermall Charlo & Badou Jack on Short List

Canelo Alvarez is planning his second fight of the year…

The 32-year-old Mexican boxer, the sport’s top star, is looking to fight one of two contenders later this year, according to ESPN sources: Jermall Charlo and Badou Jack.

Canelo AlvarezAlvarez, the undisputed super middleweight champion, and his trainer/manager, Eddy Reynoso, met with PBC founder Al Haymon last week in the Cleveland area, where a fall fight with WBC middleweight titleholder Charlo was discussed, sources said.

Charlo, 33, hasn’t competed since June 2021, when he scored a unanimous decision win over Juan Macias Montiel. WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said last month that Charlo’s inactivity is due to mental health.

Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) is a former 154-pound titleholder who has never competed above 160 pounds. His twin brother, Jermell Charlo, is the undisputed junior middleweight champion. Both Charlos are advised by Haymon.

Alvarez’s last three bouts were promoted by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, while his victory over Caleb Plant in November 2021 was a Showtime PPV presented by PBC.

PBC didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.

Another option for Alvarez is Jack, the WBC cruiserweight titleholder. Jack’s longtime manager, Amer Abdallah, is the Head of Boxing for Saudi Arabia-based Skill Challenge Entertainment, a boxing promotion led by Prince Khalid bin Abdulaziz.

Abdallah told ESPN on Monday that “the big items are agreed upon, which is an approximate date” and “the financials” for a proposed fight for Jack’s 200-pound title in October in Saudi Arabia. Alvarez has expressed a desire to fight in Saudi Arabia and was ringside for Andy Ruiz’s rematch with Anthony Joshua in the nation’s capital, Riyadh, in December 2019.

Abdallah conceded the weight is an issue. Alvarez holds all four titles at 168 pounds and has twice competed for a light heavyweight title, but has never weighed more than 174.5 pounds — his weight when he scored a highlight-reel KO of Sergey Kovalev in November 2019.

Jack (28-3-3, 17 KOs) is a practicing Muslim whose last four fights took place in the Middle East. His most recent two fights were in Saudi Arabia, including his February victory over Ilunga Makabu to capture the WBC cruiserweight title.

The cruiserweight division limit is 200 pounds. Jack, a 39-year-old former super middleweight titleholder and light heavyweight contender, weighed 198.75 pounds for his last bout and hasn’t tipped the scales under 198.5 pounds since June 2021.

“It’s now just getting it over the finish line with the weight,” Abdallah said. “And mind you, that’s not a small hurdle, but it’s one we’re going back and forth on. So far, this has been the only situation and the only term that we’ve not fully agreed on. … But I’m hoping that if you fight for [a] cruiserweight [title], you’ve got to at least fight around the cruiserweight division [200 pounds] and not at light heavyweight [175 pounds].”

Alvarez outpointed John Ryder last month to retain his undisputed super middleweight championship in a Mexico homecoming. Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs) was fighting for the first time since he underwent left wrist surgery in October and did so before 50,000-plus fans in Guadalajara.

In the lead-up to the bout and afterward, Alvarez said he was focused on a rematch with Russia’s Dmitry Bivol in September. Alvarez was soundly defeated by Bivol in May 2022, his first loss since his 2013 fight with Floyd Mayweather.

The Bivol fight — for which Jermall Charlo was one of two finalists to face Alvarez — was Alvarez’s second 175-pound bout. He returned to defeat Gennadiy Golovkin in September 2022 on Mexican Independence Day Weekend, one of two annual dates Alvarez routinely reserves (the other is Cinco de Mayo Weekend).

Bivol told ESPN on Friday that the rematch with Alvarez is not happening in September, saying, “If you want to fight only me, just connect with our team and ask us about the fight.” Instead, Bivol said he would stay busy with a fall fight and target Artur Beterbiev for the undisputed light heavyweight championship.

Leading up to the Ryder fight, Alvarez insisted on a rematch with Bivol taking place at 175 pounds, while Bivol said he was only interested in a return bout at 168 pounds for Alvarez’s four titles.

“Canelo wants the rematch on all the same terms as the fight he lost,” Bivol’s manager, Vadim Kornilov, told ESPN on Friday. “Usually when a fighter really wants a rematch to happen, he doesn’t ask for all the same terms. If Canelo really wanted to avenge his loss as desperately as he portrays to the press, he would have been fighting GGG and Ryder first.

“And they would not be talking to the reps of Charlo, [David] Benavidez, [Edgar] Berlanga, etc. He is obviously avoiding Bivol and they know it would be tough for them to beat him.”

Benavidez, ESPN’s No. 2 super middleweight after Alvarez, has been calling for his shot at Alvarez in September. His promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz, said Benavidez is moving on after he never received a response to an offer he made to Reynoso.

“We had a friendly meeting [after] which I promised to send a proposal,” Lewkowicz told ESPN on Monday. “And then [Reynoso] insults me by claiming he never received a proposal. I sent it by email, by text message and by WhatsApp. There’s no way he didn’t receive it. … The only thing he’s looking for is the legacy of Canelo so that he can retire in two or three fights without losing. This is boxing, nothing is written in stone. He can lose to somebody less than Benavidez.”

The package Alvarez was offered could have exceeded $60 million, per sources, when accounting for his international TV rights and upside of the gate and pay-per-view for the Benavidez fight, the matchup most highly anticipated by fans.

Forbes last month ranked Alvarez at No. 5 on its highest-paid athletes list, with $110 million in estimated earnings in 2022.

Canelo Alvarez Retains Undisputed Super Middleweight Championship Title with Unanimous Decision Victory

It’s a homecoming to remember for Canelo Alvarez

Against the backdrop of 51,000-plus fans who waited nearly 12 years for their hero to return, the 32-year-old Mexican professional boxer retained his undisputed super middleweight championship with a unanimous decision victory over England’s John Ryder on Saturday at Akron Stadium.

Canelo AlvarezAlvarez, boxing’s top star, battered and bloodied Ryder and floored him in Round 5, but he couldn’t put the challenger away. Instead, Alvarez settled for the points win via scores of 120-107, 118-109 and 118-109.

Alvarez fired home run right-hand shots down the stretch, but Ryder, who said he suffered a broken nose in Round 2 that bled profusely for most of the fight, showed immense courage to hear the final bell.

“It’s a historic moment for me,” said Alvarez, ESPN’s No. 5 pound-for-pound boxer. “I’m glad to be here with my people who supported me from the beginning. I’m very thankful to be here and very thankful with my people.

“He’s a very strong fighter, man. And when he’s going for everything, they turn it on. [The opponents] are more difficult than usual, but I knew that. I’m in this position a long time … and I respect my opponents because I know they’re coming for everything.”

The fight was Alvarez’s first since he underwent surgery on his left wrist in October. He admitted afterward that he “needed a couple of rounds to start punching and knowing I’m good with the hand.”

Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs) said his surgically repaired hand feels “very good” and that he’s now “ready for everything.” If it’s up to him, that next fight will come against a familiar foe.

Throughout the lead-up, Alvarez said his goal remained a rematch with Russia’s Dmitry Bivol, who routed him via decision when they met last May at 175 pounds. The rejuvenated lead hand gives Alvarez confidence he can exact revenge, but he insists the encore encounter must take place at 175 pounds for Bivol’s title.

“I want the same terms, the same everything as the last fight,” said Alvarez, who plans to fight again on Sept. 16, Mexican Independence Day weekend. “… I think I’m better than him — that’s it. If you see the first five rounds, six rounds, I dominate the fight. But then I get tired, of course, because I don’t train at my 100%.”

Alvarez said he pushed through the pain in his three previous bouts — most recently a decision victory over Gennadiy Golovkin in September to close out their trilogy — and that it hurt to even glove up in the locker room.

Boxers usually look to gain every competitive advantage available, but Bivol insists the rematch must take place at 168 pounds for Alvarez’s four titles.

“Why should I even do the rematch at 175,” Bivol asked ESPN on Thursday. “What is the challenge or what is the motivation for me if I’ve already beaten him at that weight class? … He might have a better chance at 168 because he said that that’s his weight class.”

Alvarez, though, doesn’t want to hear any excuses that he weight-drained his foe. Eddie Hearn, who promotes both Alvarez and Bivol, said he’ll start negotiations for the rematch next week.

Hearn is also the promoter of Ryder, who entered the ring rated No. 4 by ESPN at super middleweight. Ryder (32-6, 18 KOs) earned the opportunity at boxing’s highest-paid athlete (No. 5 on Forbes’ list at $110 million in 2022) with a career year.

“The Gorilla” scored the biggest win of his career in February 2022 when he outpointed former champion Daniel Jacobs and followed up with a victory over Zach Parker in November when Parker suffered a broken hand.

But against Alvarez, Ryder was no match — Canelo landed 189 punches, more than double Ryder’s output. What the 34-year-old was able to do was absorb a beating and keep on coming back for more. He displayed tremendous heart round after round, and even connected on a few good counter shots of his own, particularly an uppercut.

Ryder’s best moments of the fight came in Round 8 — three rounds after he gutted out a knockdown from a sharp right hand — and in the closing seconds, he was on the canvas again. However, it was ruled a slip.

“I think I got him, but you know, he put the head in front and the elbows,” Alvarez said. “… I worked and I’m happy that the people got a great fight.”

Canelo almost ended the fight again in Round 9. He connected on two massive right hands that rocked Ryder before a third punch sent him tumbling into the ropes. Ryder somehow fired back — and then another flurry put him on shaky legs him again, but he never touched the canvas. Instead, the southpaw landed some stinging shots of his own.

The fight was entertaining indeed, even if it was one-sided. But it was clear Alvarez was frustrated the KO never materialized — he slapped his gloves together twice in the final round after throwing the right hand.

Ryder, with a bandage wrapped around his beet-red nose, said at the postfight news conference that he believes Alvarez is past his best days.

“He couldn’t get me out of there,” Ryder said. “His plan was to stop me. He didn’t.”

But Alvarez did score the victory in convincing fashion and remains the face of boxing. If he’s past his prime at 32, that won’t become clear until another day. He entered the ring wearing a green-and-gold poncho, accompanied by a display of fireworks and a 50-plus member mariachi band.

There was a crown atop his head, too — the king returned home, nearly 12 years after he left as a world-class boxer, but far from the Mexican legend he would later become.

Regis Prograis Signs Three-Fight Deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing

Regis Prograis has a new deal…

The 34-year-old half-Hispanic American boxer, a junior welterweight champion Regis Prograis, has signed a three-fight deal with Eddie Hearn‘s Matchroom Boxing.

Regis Prograis Prograis (28-1, 24 KOs) accepted the offer over a more lucrative offer from Top Rank, sources said.

Prograis’ first fight with Matchroom will take place on June 17 in Prograis’ native New Orleans against Australia’s Liam Paro (23-0, 14 KOs), Prograis told ESPN. Sources said it is a headline bout on DAZN.

“Over the last few weeks, I’ve been contemplating which move I should make next,” Prograis said. “I had a lot of good offers on the table. But I feel like Matchroom is the best for me. I just feel like it’s the right fit. From the beginning I had that gut feeling and it never left. I can’t wait to start this chapter in my career.”

Prograis, who fights out of Houston, was ringside with Hearn for the Canelo AlvarezJohn Ryder undisputed super middleweight championship fight, Canelo’s first fight in Mexico in nearly 12 years.

ESPN’s No. 3 boxer at 140 pounds, Prograis became a two-time champion when he scored an 11th-round KO of Jose Zepeda in November. Prograis’ lone professional defeat came against Josh Taylor in 2019 via majority decision.

Now that he’s aligned with Matchroom, Prograis could be matched with Jack Catterall, ESPN’s No. 1 junior welterweight. Catterall, who signed with Hearn last month, dropped a controversial decision to Taylor last February in his lone pro defeat.

Erislandy Lara to Defend Middleweight Title vs. Danny Garcia in August

Erislandy Lara is preparing to defend his title…

The 40-year-old Cuban professional boxer will defend his middleweight title versus Danny Garcia on August 5, according to the WBA.

Erislandy LaraThe Showtime main event is expected to take place at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, sources said, at a 155-pound catchweight.

PBC has been planning a fight between Lara and Garcia for months, but Michael Zerafa stood in the way. The 31-year-old Australian was the mandatory challenger to Lara’s title, but he agreed to step aside after he was offered an undercard slot, Zerafa’s manager, Elvis Grant, told ESPN.

“PBC were more than fair in reasonably working this out with Team Zerafa,” Grant said.

Zerafa (30-4, 19 KOs) is ESPN’s No. 10 middleweight.

The WBA stipulated that the winner must face Zerafa by December or face being stripped.

Lara, 40, was elevated as champion after Gennadiy Golovkin relinquished his title. A former 154-pound champion, Lara’s impressive résumé includes a controversial decision loss to Paul Williams, a split decision defeat to Canelo Alvarez and a victory over Austin Trout.

The Cuban’s split decision defeat to Jarrett Hurd in a 154-pound title unification was ESPN‘s 2018 Fight of the Year. Lara’s draw with Brian Castano the following year was one of the best fights of 2019.

Lara (29-3-3, 17 KOs) has competed four times since the Castano bout, all of them against domestic-level competition. Three of those four wins came inside the distance.

Garcia (37-3, 21 KOs) is a former unified 140-pound champion and 147-pound titleholder. He rose to prominence with an upset fourth-round TKO victory over Amir Khan in 2012 and followed up with an impressive victory over Lucas Matthysse the following year.

His lengthy résumé includes wins over Erik Morales, Zab Judah and Lamont Peterson, along with tight decision defeats to Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter. The 35-year-old Philadelphian made his 154-pound debut in July with a majority decision win over Jose Benavidez Jr.

That was Garcia’s first fight since a December 2020 decision loss to Errol Spence Jr.

David Benavidez Beats Caleb Plant by Unanimous Decision

David Benavidez is celebrating the biggest win of his career…

The 26-year-old Mexican, Ecuadorian & Dominican American professional boxer logged a unanimous decision victory over Caleb Plant on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

David BenavidezPlant jumped out to an early lead on the strength of his jab and movement in the large, 22-by-22 ring, but Benavidez was able to hurt his opponent on several occasions.

Benavidez’s nonstop pressure wore down Plant over the second half of the super middleweight fight, and Benavidez prevailed by scores of 115-113, 116-112 and 117-111.

“I want to give a big shout to Caleb Plant,” said Benavidez, ESPN’s No. 2 super middleweight. “We fought like warriors in the ring, and this guy’s a f—ing helluva fighter. … I showed defense, head movement … and cut the ring really good. I hit him with a lot of hard shots.”

Benavidez also called out Canelo Alvarez, the undisputed champion at 168 pounds.

Alvarez, boxing’s top star, is set to defend his four super middleweight titles against John Ryder on May 6 in Mexico — but Alvarez always fights on Mexican Independence Day weekend in September too.

Alvarez has been calling for a rematch with Dmitry Bivol, who defeated Alvarez in May, but Benavidez has now made his case too.

“I have a lot of respect for Canelo Alvarez, but he has to give me that shot now,” he said. “That’s what everybody wants to see in September. … I don’t think he’s trying to avoid me; I just believe he has a lot of options.”

Plant, who lost his title to Alvarez via 11th-round stoppage in November 2021 for his lone previous defeat, showed off his impressive jab and footwork from the opening bell. The 30-year-old Tennessee native who fights out of Las Vegas was able to keep the larger, longer Benavidez at bay with the lead hand.

Every time Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs) was able to pin Plant (22-2, 13 KOs) on the ropes, Plant was wise to spin off to evade danger. When Benavidez worked his way onto the inside, Plant held each and every time.

The tactic was smartly deployed, and veteran referee Kenny Bayless surprisingly allowed Plant to clinch without much warning. Hall of Fame boxer Oscar De La Hoya quipped on Twitter afterward that Benavidez was fighting two men in the ring.

“Kenny Bayless is a helluva referee, but he didn’t give Plant any warnings,” Benavidez said.

“I had to find a way to work around it,” he added.

Plant, ESPN’s No. 3 super middleweight, continued to pile up rounds during the first half on the strength of his jab and distance control, but eventually, Benavidez’s pressure broke through.

Benavidez, a Phoenix native who fights out of Seattle, appeared to sweep the second half of the fight. He buckled Plant with a chopping right hand in Round 8 that sent the former champion stumbling. However, Bayless quickly halted the action after a clash of heads left Plant with a vertical gash in the middle of his forehead that bled for the remainder of the fight.

Benavidez, who is nicknamed “Mexican Monster,” started to mix in body shots and a jab to go along with his best punch, the left hook. Under duress from Benavidez’s pressure and thudding shots, Plant’s jab mostly disappeared.

And again in Round 10, Benavidez had Plant in trouble, this time from a series of left hooks that forced Plant to desperately hold on.

Benavidez continued to push for the stoppage of his rival in the penultimate round — a bundle of left hands and chopping rights wobbled Plant’s legs — but Plant never tasted the canvas. He showed tremendous heart throughout the bout, just as he did against Alvarez, and made it to the final bell while still exchanging.

“David’s a helluva fighter,” said Plant, who scored a spectacular KO of former titleholder Anthony Dirrell in October. “It’s a big rivalry, but we got in here and settled it like men. … I’ve got in there and I’ve rumbled with the best in the world; I haven’t ducked anybody.”

“There’s no excuse,” Plant added. “David was the better man tonight.”

Now, Benavidez will wait to see what happens between Alvarez and Ryder in May while hoping for his own shot against boxing’s most bankable fighter.

Benavidez has twice held a super middleweight title and both times lost it outside the ring.

He was stripped by the WBC in 2018 following a positive test for cocaine. After he regained the title, Benavidez was forced to relinquish it in 2020 after he failed to make 168 pounds.

Canelo Alvarez Will Defend Undisputed Super Middleweight Championship vs. John Ryder in May

Canelo Alvarez is going on the defensive…

The 32-year-old Mexican professional boxer, the sport’s top star, will defend his undisputed super middleweight championship versus John Ryder on May 6 in Jalisco, Mexico, the fighter has announced.

Canelo AlvarezThe Alvarez-Ryder bout will take place at Akron Stadium, a soccer venue with a capacity of nearly 50,000.

It will be Alvarez’s first in Mexico since 2011, when he defeated Kermit Cintron to retain his 154-pound title. That event was in Mexico City. Alvarez hasn’t competed in Guadalajara since 2010, before he won his first championship.

Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs) will step inside the ropes for the first time since he underwent left wrist surgery in October. The procedure followed Alvarez’s win over Gennadiy Golovkin in September to close out the trilogy.

“I feel really happy to be coming back in May, because following my surgery, I was unsure of when I’d be coming back,” said Alvarez, ESPN’s No. 5 pound-for-pound boxer. “Returning to the ring and coming back to fight in Jalisco, where I’m from, makes me especially happy. And in John Ryder, I’m facing a very competitive fighter.”

The injury also hampered Alvarez in an upset loss to Dmitry Bivol in May at 175 pounds, Alvarez’s first defeat since he was routed by Floyd Mayweather in 2013.

Ryder, a 34-year-old Londoner, will be a major underdog in his second world title opportunity. He was on the wrong end of a controversial decision when he challenged Callum Smith for his 168-pound title in 2019.

Since the defeat, Ryder has won four straight. His most recent two victories came against Daniel Jacobs and Zach Parker last year, in February and November, respectively. The victory over Jacobs was a tight decision, while Parker retired on his stool with a broken hand following Round 4.

Ryder (32-5, 18 KOs) won the vacant WBO interim title when he defeated Parker, so Alvarez could be in position to fulfill one of the obligations for the four 168-pound titles he possesses. Ryder, a pressure-fighting southpaw, is ESPN’s No. 4 super middleweight.

“There’s no denying that Canelo is one of the greats, and I’ve got a lot of respect for what he’s achieved in the sport, but I fully believe this is my time [to] fulfil my dream of becoming a world champion,” Ryder said.

“I’m not going over there for a holiday. For me, this is purely business, and my full focus is on going into his backyard in Guadalajara on May 6 and bringing those belts back with me to the U.K.”

Alvarez, meanwhile, could face Bivol in a September rematch, but this time at 168 pounds for his undisputed championship. Bivol has expressed a willingness to drop down in weight, so the bout could materialize once Alvarez pushes past Ryder as expected.

Alvarez is a promotional and network free agent, but he’ll be fighting for Eddie Hearn‘s Matchroom Boxing on DAZN for the third consecutive outing.

David Benavidez to Fight Caleb Plant in Las Vegas This March

David Benavidez is heading back to the ring in March…

The 26-year-old Mexican and Ecuadorian American professional boxer, a two-time WBC super middleweight champion, will meet Caleb Plant in a long-awaited fight on March 25 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, according to ESPN.

David BenavidezThe 168-pound bout will be a PBC on Showtime PPV.

Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs) and Plant (22-1, 13 KOs) both announced in November that they struck a deal for the grudge match. They’ve traded plenty of barbs in both directions, and it all leads to a fascinating clash of styles.

Benavidez is a volume-punching pressure fighter who’s been among boxing’s most avoided fighters.

Plant, 30, is a stick-and-move boxer whose only defeat came last November in an 11th-round TKO loss to Canelo Alvarez, the undisputed super middleweight champion. But after Alvarez, Benavidez and Plant are widely considered the two best fighters who campaign at 168 pounds (Benavidez is ESPN’s No. 2 super middleweight; Plant is No. 3).

“You can’t hide from me anymore, I’ll see you soon,” Benavidez wrote on Instagram in November.

“I went and made it happen,” Plant wrote. “Contract signed. See you early next year.”

Benavidez was slated to meet Jose Uzcategui in January before the fight was scrapped. The Phoenix-born boxer twice held a super middleweight title but both times lost his belt outside the ring.

First, a positive test for cocaine in 2018 led to him being stripped. Benavidez regained the title with a ninth-round KO of Anthony Dirrell in 2019 but was forced to relinquish his belt the following year when he failed to make weight.

Most recently, Benavidez scored a third-round TKO of former middleweight titleholder David Lemieux in May.

Plant, who fights out of Las Vegas, won the IBF super middleweight title in 2019 with a unanimous decision victory over Uzcategui. He made three successful defenses before he lost the belt in the undisputed championship fight against Alvarez.

Plant rebounded last month with a spectacular ninth-round KO of Dirrell.